States Interactive

State Superintendent Salaries: How Much Do They Make? (Explore the Data)

By Francisco Vara-Orta & Daarel Burnette II — August 29, 2017 10 min read
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State superintendents in recent years have been given increased responsibilities, but in many cases their salaries have not kept pace. That’s had implications for recruitment and retention of state chiefs, whose average tenure is a little over two years and whose hiring deals include many elements aside from base salary.

Jump to: Superintendent Salaries by State | Compare Salaries | Browse State Chief Profiles


Superintendent Salaries by State

Use the interactive below to explore salaries for current state superintendents.


Compare Salaries: Current vs. Former Chiefs

Twenty-six state chiefs received a salary higher than their predecessor. Twenty-five received the same or a lower salary than their predecessor. Browse the data below to see comparisons. You can also use the tabs to toggle between current and former superintendents.

How Were They Hired?

How much a state chief makes depends heavily on the way they got the job.

States vs. Their Districts

In addition to the vast salary differences between state superintendents, in most states the superintendent of the largest district makes more than the state chief.


Browse State Chief Profiles

For a complete profile of each current state superintendent, explore the gallery below.

Key:
Salary of current superintendent increased compared to former superintendent
Salary of current superintendent decreased compared to former superintendent
No change from former to current superintendent salary


MichaelSentance 250

Alabama Department of Education

  • Name: Michael Sentance
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: September 8, 2016
  • Salary: $198,000
  • Number of public school students: 744,164
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

MichaelJohnson 250

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

  • Name: Michael Johnson
  • Title: Commissioner of Education and Early Development
  • Start Date: July 1, 2016
  • Salary: $141,156
  • Number of public school students: 131,176
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

DianeDouglas 250

Arizona Department of Education

  • Name: Diane Douglas
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 5, 2015
  • Salary: $85,000
  • Number of public school students: 1,111,695
  • Appointment: Elected

JohnnyKey 250

Arkansas Department of Education

  • Name: Johnny Key
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: March 26, 2015
  • Salary: $235,823.33
  • Number of public school students: 490,917
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

TomTorlakson 250

California Department of Education

  • Name: Tom Torlakson
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 3, 2011
  • Salary: $165,126
  • Number of public school students: 6,312,161
  • Appointment: Elected

KatyAnthes 250

Colorado Department of Education

  • Name: Katy Anthes
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: May 20, 2016
  • Salary: $255,000
  • Number of public school students: 889,006
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

DiannaWentzell 250

Connecticut Department of Education

  • Name: Dianna Wentzell
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: January 9, 2015
  • Salary: $192,500
  • Number of public school students: 542,678
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

SusanBunting 250

Delaware Department of Education

  • Name: Susan Bunting
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 26, 2017
  • Salary: $163,055
  • Number of public school students: 134,042
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

PamStewart 250

Florida Department of Education

  • Name: Pam Stewart
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: August 2, 2013
  • Salary: $276,000
  • Number of public school students: 2,756,944
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

RichardWoods 250

Georgia Department of Education

  • Name: Richard Woods
  • Title: State School Superintendent
  • Start Date: January 13, 2015
  • Salary: $123,270
  • Number of public school students: 1,744,437
  • Appointment: Elected

ChristinaKishimoto

Hawaii State Department of Education

  • Name: Christina Kishimoto
  • Title: Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: August 1, 2017
  • Salary: $240,000
  • Number of public school students: 182,384
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

SherriYbarra 250

Idaho Department of Education

  • Name: Sherri Ybarra
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 5, 2015
  • Salary: $105,771
  • Number of public school students: 290,885
  • Appointment: Elected

TonySmith 250

Illinois State Board of Education

  • Name: Tony Smith
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: May 1, 2015
  • Salary: $238,704
  • Number of public school students: 2,050,239
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

JenniferMcCormick 250

Indiana Department of Education

  • Name: Jennifer McCormick
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 23, 2017
  • Salary: $97,201.78
  • Number of public school students: 1,046,269
  • Appointment: Elected

RyanWise 250

Iowa Department of Education

  • Name: Ryan Wise
  • Title: Education Director
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $152,152
  • Number of public school students: 505,311
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

RandyWatson 250

Kansas State Department of Education

  • Name: Randy Watson
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $175,000
  • Number of public school students: 497,275
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

StephenPruitt 250

Kentucky Department of Education

  • Name: Stephen Pruitt
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: October 16, 2015
  • Salary: $240,000
  • Number of public school students: 688,640
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

JohnWhite 250

Louisiana Department of Education

  • Name: John White
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: January 11, 2012
  • Salary: $275,000
  • Number of public school students: 716,800
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

RobertHasson 250

Maine Department of Education

  • Name: Robert Hasson
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: April 7, 2017
  • Salary: $131,705.60
  • Number of public school students: 182,470
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

KarenSalmon 250

Maryland Department of Education

  • Name: Karen Salmon
  • Title: State Superintendent
  • Start Date: June 1, 2016
  • Salary: $236,000
  • Number of public school students: 874,514
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

Jeff Wulfson headshot 250

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Name: Jeff Wulfson
  • Title: Interim Commissioner
  • Start Date: June 27, 2017
  • Salary: $184,828
  • Number of public school students: 955,844
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education, confirmed by secretary of education

BrianWhiston 250

Michigan Department of Education

  • Name: Brian Whiston
  • Title: State Superintendent
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $207,500
  • Number of public school students: 1,537,922
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

BrendaCassellius 250

Minnesota Department of Education

  • Name: Brenda Cassellius
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: January 4, 2011
  • Salary: $150,001.92
  • Number of public school students: 857,235
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

CareyWright 250

Mississippi Department of Education

  • Name: Carey Wright
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: November 1, 2013
  • Salary: $300,000
  • Number of public school students: 490,917
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

MargieVandeven 250

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Name: Margie Vandeven
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 1, 2015
  • Salary: $191,544
  • Number of public school students: 917,785
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

ElsieArntzen 250

Montana Office of Public Instruction

  • Name: Elsie Arntzen
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 2, 2017
  • Salary: $104,635
  • Number of public school students: 144,532
  • Appointment: Elected

MatthewBlomstedt 250

Nebraska Department of Education

  • Name: Matthew Blomstedt
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 2, 2014
  • Salary: $222,932
  • Number of public school students: 312,635
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

SteveCanavero 250

Nevada Department of Education

  • Name: Steve Canavero
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: February 29, 2016
  • Salary: $113,156
  • Number of public school students: 459,189
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

FrankEdelblut 250

New Hampshire Department of Education

  • Name: Frank Edelblut
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: February 16, 2017
  • Salary: $93,759.12
  • Number of public school students: 184,670
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

KimberleyHarrington 250

New Jersey Department of Education

  • Name: Kimberley Harrington
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: September 2, 2016
  • Salary: $141,000
  • Number of public school students: 1,400,579
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

ChristopherRuszkowski 250

New Mexico Department of Education

  • Name: Christopher Ruszkowski
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: June 21, 2017
  • Salary: $124,300
  • Number of public school students: 340,365
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

MaryEllenElia 250

New York State Education Department

  • Name: MaryEllen Elia
  • Title: Commissioner
  • Start Date: July 6, 2015
  • Salary: $250,000
  • Number of public school students: 2,741,185
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

MarkJohnson 250

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

  • Name: Mark Johnson
  • Title: State Superintendent
  • Start Date: January 4, 2017
  • Salary: $127,561
  • Number of public school students: 1,548,895
  • Appointment: Elected

KirstenBaesler 250

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

  • Name: Kirsten Baesler
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 2, 2013
  • Salary: $120,410
  • Number of public school students: 106,586
  • Appointment: Elected

PaoloDeMaria 250

Ohio Department of Education

  • Name: Paolo DeMaria
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: June 27, 2016
  • Salary: $184,496
  • Number of public school students: 1,724,810
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

JoyHofmeister 250

Oklahoma State Department of Education

  • Name: Joy Hofmeister
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 1, 2015
  • Salary: $124,373
  • Number of public school students: 688,511
  • Appointment: Elected

SalamNoor 250

Oregon Department of Education

  • Name: Salam Noor
  • Title: Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: July 1, 2015
  • Salary: $185,508
  • Number of public school students: 601,318
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

PedroRivera 250

Pennsylvania Department of Education

  • Name: Pedro Rivera
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 20, 2015
  • Salary: $154,642
  • Number of public school students: 1,743,160
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

KenWagner 250

Rhode Island Department of Education

  • Name: Ken Wagner
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: July 13, 2015
  • Salary: $206,875.50
  • Number of public school students: 141,959
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

xollySpearman 250

South Carolina Department of Education

  • Name: Molly Spearman
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: January 9, 2015
  • Salary: $92,007
  • Number of public school students: 756,523
  • Appointment: Elected

MelodySchopp 250

South Dakota Department of Education

  • Name: Melody Schopp
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 18, 2011
  • Salary: $123,864.45
  • Number of public school students: 133,040
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

CandiceMcQueen 250

Tennessee Department of Education

  • Name: Candice McQueen
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 17, 2015
  • Salary: $200,004
  • Number of public school students: 995,475
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

MikeMorath 250

Texas Education Agency

  • Name: Mike Morath
  • Title: Commissioner of Education
  • Start Date: January 4, 2016
  • Salary: $220,374.84
  • Number of public school students: 5,233,765
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

SydneeDickson 250

Utah State Office of Education

  • Name: Sydnee Dickson
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 8, 2016
  • Salary: $230,069
  • Number of public school students: 635,577
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

RebeccaHolcombe 250

Vermont Agency of Education

  • Name: Rebecca Holcombe
  • Title: Secretary of Education
  • Start Date: January 2, 2014
  • Salary: $126,793.60
  • Number of public school students: 87,311
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

StevenStaples 250

Virginia Department of Education

  • Name: Steven Staples
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: May 1, 2014
  • Salary: $212,661
  • Number of public school students: 1,280,381
  • Appointment: Appointed by governor

ChrisReykdal 250

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Name: Chris Reykdal
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: January 11, 2017
  • Salary: $134,212
  • Number of public school students: 1,073,638
  • Appointment: Elected

HanseulKang 250

Office of the State Superintendent of Education (Washington, D.C.)

  • Name: Hanseul Kang
  • Title: State Superintendent of Education
  • Start Date: March 23, 2015
  • Salary: $160,000
  • Number of public school students: 80,958
  • Appointment: Mayor appointed

StevenPaine 250

West Virginia Department of Education

  • Name: Steven Paine
  • Title: State Superintendent of Schools
  • Start Date: March 27, 2017
  • Salary: $230,000
  • Number of public school students: 280,310
  • Appointment: Hired by state board of education

AnthonyEvers 250

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  • Name: Tony Evers
  • Title: State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: April 1, 2009
  • Salary: $120,111
  • Number of public school students: 871,432
  • Appointment: Elected

JillianBalow 250

Wyoming Department of Education

  • Name: Jillian Balow
  • Title: Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Start Date: January 5, 2015
  • Salary: $93,261
  • Number of public school students: 94,067
  • Appointment: Elected

Sources: State departments of education data, federal data on student populations for 2014-2015, Education Week analysis

Reporting & Analysis: Daarel Burnette II | Data Analysis: Francisco Vara-Orta | Design & Visualization: Doris Nhan | Research: Maya Riser-Kositsky

A version of this article appeared in the August 30, 2017 edition of Education Week as State Superintendent Salaries: How Much Do They Make? (Explore the Data)

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