School & District Management Report Roundup

Survey: Bigger Districts Pay Their Leaders More

By Christina A. Samuels — October 11, 2011 1 min read

The average yearly salary of a superintendent in 2010-11 was $161,992, but that salary varied widely depending on the size of the district, according to a yearly survey of salary and wages of school personnel.

Leaders in districts that served 300 to 2,499 students made an average of $119,613, more than $100,000 less than their counterparts in districts enrolling more than 25,000 students. Those superintendents made an average of $226,551.

The survey included responses from 758 districts with more than 1.3 million employees, and the averages are based on those respondents.

The survey is the 38th edition published by Educational Research Service, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit that will close its doors in November. Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit publisher of Education Week, has acquired several assets from the service, including its national salary survey, and plans to continue the annual pay study.

The current survey found that districts that spent more per pupil also spent more in salaries on their teachers. Teachers in districts that spent more than $11,000 per pupil made an average of $58,006, compared with $51,376 at districts that spend less than $8,000 per pupil.

The survey also suggests that new principals may be hard to find because they make just about as much as experienced teachers.

The responding districts reported that the average daily salary rate for an experienced teacher was $330.45. Less experienced senior high school principals earned $372.73 per day, but they generally worked more hours than teachers, making any real difference in salaries small.

Among hourly-wage employees, the survey found that school bus drivers got paid the most, with an average of $16.61 an hour. Cafeteria workers, at $12.23 an hour, made the least.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2011 edition of Education Week as Survey: Bigger Districts Pay Their Leaders More

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