Superintendents’ Salaries Rose Slightly in 2019

By Debra Viadero — March 04, 2020 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

By Gabrielle Wanneh

The median salary of a school superintendent increased in 2019, ranging from $117,500 in the smallest districts to $388,709 in larger school systems, a new survey has found. Superintendents’ median salaries in 2018 ranged from $100,000 to $234,000.

The new statistics come from the eighth edition of the AASA Superintendent Salary & Benefits Study. They show that as district enrollment has increased, salaries have gone up in tandem, a trend that has been consistent over the last four years.

The data also show some race- and gender-related compensation gaps among superintendents.

Twenty-three percent of the survey participants in 2019 were female while roughly 75 percent were male, and the vast majority of participants were white (non-Hispanic or Latino), with a collection of other racial and cultural groups making up the remaining 6.2 percent.

Female participants reported a median salary of $138,125, slightly less than the $141,217 reported by their male counterparts.

There were only slight differences between genders, however, when male and female superintendents’ median salaries were compared for districts of the same enrollment size.

Apart from 2018, female participants have usually reported higher minimum overall base salaries than male participants, but lower maximum salaries. In 2019, female superintendents reported a minimum salary of $78,000 and a maximum salary of $325,000, while male superintendents reported a minimum of $64,250 and maximum of $357,418.

“This might be because female superintendents are staying in the classrooms longer than their male counterparts.” said Chris Rogers, an AASA policy analyst and contributor to the recent report.

He said this means that it’s possible that many female superintendents might have started their careers in the school system earlier, possibly in teaching or other administrative roles, before becoming superintendent, thus prompting the higher minimum salary.

The 2019 study marks the first year to break out data for superintendents of different racial or cultural groups. African-American superintendents earned a median base salary of $189,00 and Latino superintendents reported earning $180,000, both higher than the $140,000 salary of white superintendents. Asian-American superintendents reported a median salary of $221,760.

As is the case for female superintendents, the historically disadvantaged racial groups represented reported higher minimum base salaries and lower maximum salaries than those of the white participants.

The study warns about drawing definitive conclusions from the data, however, especially in regard to women superintendents and those from different racial groups, because of the small numbers of respondents in those demographic groups.

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

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP