In today’s article we share information from Jeff Heckathorn’s website. He’s assembled some data that you may find interesting. Specifically he looked into the costs from the leadership side of school districts.
Let’s look at Superintendents: Total Compensation For Superintendents Vs Enrollments | The School Data Project :
In 2019/2020 the highest paid District Superintendent was…Vancouver SD in Vancouver, WA. Slightly over 20,000 students. Certainly one of the larger districts in the state but far from the largest. Next, look at the chart and choose your county. You’ll see a huge difference and size (# of students) isn’t the driving factor. There appears to be no rhyme or reason for the amount of money school boards are giving away.
School boards have no spine, no discipline to hold the line by standing up to the teachers’ unions or the demands for higher and higher pay for their chief administrator.
The Seattle SD, with by far the highest student enrollment of 55,000 students, is at least making some effort (compared to districts such as Vancouver, Northshore, and Edmonds) to give a fair but still generous compensation package while respecting taxpayers.
Many small school districts don’t bother with an expensive, figurehead superintendent. They save their money for more teachers.
Some small school districts (e.g., St. John, Harrington) have only part time superintendents which also makes financial sense.
Now, let’s look at the Assistance Super’s: http://www.schooldataproject.com/assistant_superintendents_total_compensation
What do we see? On the low end Seattle spends about $7/student for their 2 Asst Superintendents. On the other end of the spectrum you see that the cost is $184/student at South Whidbey SD. There are some 8 districts spending over $100/student. Why the huge differences? Are they worth it? Are school boards doing their job or giving away the farm…are school boards even looking at the data?
One more report on Admin: Total Compensation For Superintendents vs percent low income students report
It doesn’t seem to matter what the cost of living is in the area or the level of poverty.
Vancouver, with the highest compensation in the state for its superintendent, has 50% of its students on subsidized meals.
Tacoma, Federal Way, and Highline all have more than 60% of their students from low income families (receiving subsidized meals) yet their superintendents collect more than $400,000 in compensation.
How are administrators rated? What does the size of the student body have to do with pay? Are you ok with this or will you take this information and go to your school board directors and ask for a conversation?
When you click the links you can zero out all districts by double clicking on one district and then add districts one at a time for comparison.