Full Disclosure?

December 12, 2006 1 min read

Why must public companies, but not public school systems, disclose total executive compensation, asks J.H. Snider in this Education Week Commentary.

While the Securities and Exchange Commission ensures easily accessible disclosure of executive compensation, including pensions, bonuses, and stock options, no such transparency exists for information about school employee compensation. In contrast, the available information about superintendents’ salaries and benefits is usually fragmented and incomplete, and disclosed salaries for teachers are often misleadingly low.

Rather than downplay compensation in order to minimize school employees’ perceived cost to taxpayers, schools should educate the public about the benefits and value of being an educational leader, writes Snider. Instead of hiding salaries, school systems should showcase benefits as a way to attract competent employees. According to Snider, the public should be educated, not misled, when it comes to school employees’ salaries and benefits.

What do you think? Is greater transparency needed in the compensation of public school leaders?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.