School & District Management

How Much Are Superintendents Worth?

By Dakarai I. Aarons — July 19, 2010 1 min read
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That’s the question posed today by my colleague Lesli A. Maxwell on the State EdWatch blog. As Lesli notes, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is looking to rein in the six-figure salaries that school chiefs in his state make—with many besting his $175,000 gubernatorial salary.

To be sure, superintendent salaries have long been a concern in New Jersey, especially after it was discovered some school chiefs received pay raises after earning advanced degrees from diploma mills—an issue that became prominent enough that the state’s department of education had to take action two years ago.

Lesli notes that superintendents in some major cities make more money than the governors of their states.

Christie is far from the only politician to raise this issue. The salaries of superintendents and other top school officials was also brought up during a recent meeting of the Memphis City Council, where city council members questioned why the director of security for the school district makes nearly $50,000 more a year than the city’s police chief.

And Kriner Cash, Memphis’ superintendent, at $275,738, is the highest-paid public executive in Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn. In most major cities, the superintendent of schools regularly out-earns the mayor by more than $100,000.

You can read more about the salaries and other aspects of urban superintendents in this report by the Council of the Great City Schools. And when you are done reading, answer these questions in the comments section: How much are superintendents worth? Should they make more than our mayors and governors?

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