The average salary and benefits of Illinois’ top school executives grew 4.1 percent last year, about 10 times faster than raises enjoyed by other wage earners in the Chicago metropolitan area, according to state data. A record number of superintendents—150—earned $200,000 or more.
The new salary information, provided by the Illinois state board of education, shows that the average compensation of full-time superintendents grew from $145,000 during the 2007-08 school year to $151,000 in 2008-09. The state data reflect self-reported salary information from 855 of the 869 school districts. The figures may include retirement contributions, bonuses, retirement incentives, and unused vacation days. As in years past, the highest-paid administrators were at or near retirement and saw their compensation packages swollen by bonuses, annuities, and end-of-career salary bumps.
Of the 10 highest-paid superintendents in the Chicago region, all but one oversaw a small or medium-size district.
A version of this article appeared in the March 10, 2010 edition of Education Week as Illinois District Chiefs’ Pay Rose as Schools Faced Cuts