Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Interactive: How Much Does Your Superintendent Make?

by Ryan Murphy and Morgan Smith | Texas Tribune
May 2, 2012

During the 2011 legislative session, amid a heated conversation among state lawmakers about whether Texas public schools spent too much on administration, the Texas Tribune published a salary database of the state’s highest-paid school administrators: superintendents.

After a year and a $5.4 billion reduction in state funding for public education, schools are under scrutiny for how they have — or haven’t — trimmed their budgets to absorb the cuts. So we’ve added an interactive with the 2012 figures released by the Texas Education Agency in March. (Compare with the 2011 database here.)

Here’s a rundown of some highlights:

The average salary for the ten highest-paid school chiefs is down from $312,993 to $297,039 — just over $15,000 from last year. There has been some movement in the ten highest-paid superintendents since then, too. Beaumont ISD’s Carrol Thomas still tops the list at a base salary of $347,834. Katy ISD, Garland ISD and Coppell ISD have pushed the Fort Worth, Northside and Alief districts off the list. (If you break the list down by per-student pay, Jeffrey Turner of Coppell ISD makes the most per student in that category at $27.60 to Thomas’ $17.49.)

With a new person in the top post at Alief, that district, whose superintendent used to be the second-highest paid in the state, has dropped to 22nd on the list.

The former third and fourth top-paying districts, Dallas and Fort Worth, have both installed new chiefs at lower salaries than their predecessors, leaving Spring Branch’s Duncan Klussmann in the second spot at $309,400.

Unsurprisingly, the superintendents of districts with the smallest enrollments tended to have the highest per-student pay. There are 15 superintendents in the state that make more than $1,000 per student — and the largest of them has 113 students.

But Eric Stoddard of West Texas’ San Vincente ISD took home that superlative with a $1,500 lead over the next in line. As chief of a district with 16 students, he makes $91,670 a year — that’s $5,729.38 per student.

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