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State Superintendent Salaries: How Much Do They Make?

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State superintendents in recent years have been given increased responsibilities, but in many cases their salaries have not kept pace. That's had implications for recruitment and retention of state chiefs, whose average tenure is a little over two years and whose hiring deals include many elements aside from base salary.


Superintendent Salaries by State

Use the interactive below to explore salaries for current state superintendents.

Compare Salaries: Current vs. Former Chiefs

Twenty-six state chiefs received a salary higher than their predecessor. Twenty-five received the same or a lower salary than their predecessor. Browse the data below to see comparisons. You can also use the tabs to toggle between current and former superintendents.

How Were They Hired?

How much a state chief makes depends heavily on the way they got the job.

States vs. Their Districts

In addition to the vast salary differences between state superintendents, in most states the superintendent of the largest district makes more than the state chief.

Browse State Chief Profiles

For a complete profile of each current state superintendent, explore the gallery below.

Key:
Salary of current superintendent increased compared to former superintendent
Salary of current superintendent decreased compared to former superintendent
No change from former to current superintendent salary


Michael Sentance

Alabama Department of Education

  • Name: Michael Sentance
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: September 8, 2016
  • Salary: $198,000
  • Number of public school students: 744,164
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Michael Johnson

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

  • Name: Michael Johnson
  • Title: Commissioner of Education and Early Development
  • Start Date: July 1, 2016
  • Salary: $141,156
  • Number of public school students: 131,176
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Diane Douglas

Arizona Department of Education

  • Name: Diane Douglas
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 5, 2015
  • Salary: $85,000
  • Number of public school students: 1,111,695
  • Appointment: Elected
Johnny Key

Arkansas Department of Education

  • Name: Johnny Key
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: March 26, 2015
  • Salary: $235,823.33
  • Number of public school students: 490,917
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Tom Torlakson

California Department of Education

  • Name: Tom Torlakson
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 3, 2011
  • Salary: $165,126
  • Number of public school students: 6,312,161
  • Appointment: Elected
Katy Anthes

Colorado Department of Education

  • Name: Katy Anthes
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: May 20, 2016
  • Salary: $255,000
  • Number of public school students: 889,006
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Dianna Wentzell

Connecticut Department of Education

  • Name: Dianna Wentzell
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: January 9, 2015
  • Salary: $192,500
  • Number of public school students: 542,678
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Susan Bunting

Delware Department of Education

  • Name: Susan Bunting
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 26, 2017
  • Salary: $163,055
  • Number of public school students: 134,042
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Pam Stewart

Florida Department of Education

  • Name: Pam Stewart
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: August 2, 2013
  • Salary: $276,000
  • Number of public school students: 2,756,944
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Richard Woods

Georgia Department of Education

  • Name: Richard Woods
  • Title: State School Superintendent
  • Start Date: January 13, 2015
  • Salary: $123,270
  • Number of public school students: 1,744,437
  • Appointment: Elected
Christina Kishimoto

Hawaii State Department of Education

  • Name: Christina Kishimoto
  • Title: Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: August 1, 2017
  • Salary: $240,000
  • Number of public school students: 182,384
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Sherri Ybarra

Idaho Department of Education

  • Name: Sherri Ybarra
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 5, 2015
  • Salary: $105,771
  • Number of public school students: 290,885
  • Appointment: Elected
Tony Smith

Illinois State Board of Education

  • Name: Tony Smith
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: May 1, 2015
  • Salary: $238,704
  • Number of public school students: 2,050,239
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Jennifer McCormick

Indiana Department of Education

  • Name: Jennifer McCormick
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 23, 2017
  • Salary: $97,201.78
  • Number of public school students: 1,046,269
  • Appointment: Elected
Ryan Wise

Iowa Department of Education

  • Name: Ryan Wise
  • Title: Education Director
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $152,152
  • Number of public school students: 505,311
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Randy Watson

Kansas State Department of Education

  • Name: Randy Watson
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $175,000
  • Number of public school students: 497,275
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Stephen Pruitt

Kentucky Department of Education

  • Name: Stephen Pruitt
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: October 16, 2015
  • Salary: $240,000
  • Number of public school students: 688,640
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
John White

Louisiana Department of Education

  • Name: John White
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: January 11, 2012
  • Salary: $275,000
  • Number of public school students: 716,800
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Robert Hasson

Maine Department of Education

  • Name: Robert Hasson
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: April 7, 2017
  • Salary: $131,705.60
  • Number of public school students: 182,470
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
John White

Maryland Department of Education

  • Name: Karen Salmon
  • Title: State Superintendent
  • Start Date: June 1, 2016
  • Salary: $236,000
  • Number of public school students: 874,514
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Jeff Wulfson

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Name: Jeff Wulfson
  • Title: Interim Commissioner
  • Start Date: June 27, 2017
  • Salary: $184,828
  • Number of public school students: 955,844
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education, confirmed by secretary of education
Brian Whiston

Michigan Department of Education

  • Name: Brian Whiston
  • Title: State Superintendent
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $207,500
  • Number of public school students: 1,537,922
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Brenda Cassellius

Minnesota Department of Education

  • Name: Brenda Cassellius
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: January 4, 2011
  • Salary: $150,001.92
  • Number of public school students: 857,235
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Carey Wright

Mississippi Department of Education

  • Name: Carey Wright
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: November 1, 2013
  • Salary: $300,000
  • Number of public school students: 490,917
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Margie Vandeven

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Name: Margie Vandeven
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 1, 2015
  • Salary: $191,544
  • Number of public school students: 917,785
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Elsie Arntzen

Montana Office of Public Instruction

  • Name: Elsie Arntzen
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 2, 2017
  • Salary: $104,635
  • Number of public school students: 144,532
  • Appointment: Elected
Matthew Blomstedt

Nebraska Department of Education

  • Name: Matthew Blomstedt
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 2, 2014
  • Salary: $222,932
  • Number of public school students: 312,635
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Steve Canavero

Nevada Department of Education

  • Name: Steve Canavero
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: February 29, 2016
  • Salary: $113,156
  • Number of public school students: 459,189
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Frank Edelblut

New Hampshire Department of Education

  • Name: Frank Edelblut
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: February 16, 2017
  • Salary: $93,759.12
  • Number of public school students: 184,670
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Kimberley Harrington

New Jersey Department of Education

  • Name: Kimberley Harrington
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: September 2, 2016
  • Salary: $141,000
  • Number of public school students: 1,400,579
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Christopher Ruszkowski

New Mexico Department of Education

  • Name: Christopher Ruszkowski
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: June 21, 2017
  • Salary: $124,300
  • Number of public school students: 340,365
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Kimberley Harrington

New York State Education Department

  • Name: MaryEllen Elia
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: July 6, 2015
  • Salary: $250,000
  • Number of public school students: 2,741,185
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Mark Johnson

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

  • Name: Mark Johnson
  • Title: State Superintendent
  • Start Date: January 4, 2017
  • Salary: $127,561
  • Number of public school students: 1,548,895
  • Appointment: Elected
Kirsten Baesler

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

  • Name: Kirsten Baesler
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 2, 2013
  • Salary: $120,410
  • Number of public school students: 106,586
  • Appointment: Elected
Paolo DeMaria

Ohio Department of Education

  • Name: Paolo DeMaria
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: June 27, 2016
  • Salary: $184,496
  • Number of public school students: 1,724,810
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Joy Hofmeister

Oklahoma State Department of Education

  • Name: Joy Hofmeister
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 1, 2015
  • Salary: $124,373
  • Number of public school students: 688,511
  • Appointment: Elected
Salam Noor

Oregon Department of Education

  • Name: Salam Noor
  • Title: Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $185,508
  • Number of public school students: 601,318
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Pedro Rivera

Pennsylvania Department of Education

  • Name: Pedro Rivera
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 20, 2015
  • Salary: $154,642
  • Number of public school students: 1,743,160
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Ken Wagner

Rhode Island Department of Education

  • Name: Ken Wagner
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: July 13, 2015
  • Salary: $206,875.50
  • Number of public school students: 141,959
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Molly Spearman

South Carolina Department of Education

  • Name: Molly Spearman
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: January 9, 2015
  • Salary: $92,007
  • Number of public school students: 756,523
  • Appointment: Elected
Melody Schopp

South Dakota Department of Education

  • Name: Melody Schopp
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 18, 2011
  • Salary: $123,864.45
  • Number of public school students: 133,040
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Candice McQueen

Tennessee Department of Education

  • Name: Candice McQueen
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 17, 2015
  • Salary: $200,004
  • Number of public school students: 995,475
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Mike Morath

Texas Education Agency

  • Name: Mike Morath
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 4, 2016
  • Salary: $220,374.84
  • Number of public school students: 5,233,765
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Sydnee Dickson

Utah State Office of Education

  • Name: Sydnee Dickson
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 8, 2016
  • Salary: $230,069
  • Number of public school students: 635,577
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Rebecca Holcombe

Vermont Agency of Education

  • Name: Rebecca Holcombe
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 2, 2014
  • Salary: $126,793.60
  • Number of public school students: 87,311
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Steven Staples

Virginia Department of Education

  • Name: Steven Staples
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: May 1, 2014
  • Salary: $212,661
  • Number of public school students: 1,280,381
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor
Chris Reykdal

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Name: Chris Reykdal
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: January 11, 2017
  • Salary: $134,212
  • Number of public school students: 1,073,638
  • Appointment: Elected
Hanseul Kang

Office of the State Superintendent of Education (Washington, D.C.)

  • Name: Hanseul Kang
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: March 23, 2015
  • Salary: $160,000
  • Number of public school students: 80,958
  • Appointment: Mayor appointed
Steven Paine

West Virginia Department of Education

  • Name: Steven Paine
  • Title: State Superintendent of Schools
  • Start Date: March 27, 2017
  • Salary: $230,000
  • Number of public school students: 280,310
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education
Tony Evers

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  • Name: Tony Evers
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: April 1, 2009
  • Salary: $120,111
  • Number of public school students: 871,432
  • Appointment: Elected
Jillian Balow

Wyoming Department of Education

  • Name: Jillian Balow
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 5, 2015
  • Salary: $93,261
  • Number of public school students: 94,067
  • Appointment: Elected

Sources: State departments of education data, federal data on student populations for 2014-2015, Education Week analysis

Reporting & Analysis: Daarel Burnette II | Data Analysis: Francisco Vara-Orta | Design & Visualization: Doris Nhan | Research: Maya Riser-Kositsky

Vol. 37, Issue 02, Page 16

Published in Print: August 30, 2017, as State Superintendent Salaries: How Much Do They Make? (Explore the Data)
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