Many state superintendents earn same as or less than predecessors
- Education Week reports that state superintendent salaries have remained flat or fallen in 25 states despite increasing responsibilities for the role.
- The average salary for a state education chief is $174,000, with Mississippi paying the most at $300,000 and Arizona paying the least at $85,000 — and the numbers can vary widely based on whether they were elected, appointed by a governor, or chosen by a school board.
- Additionally, Education Week found that only nine states pay their state superintendent more than the superintendent of their state's largest district, with the average salary for district leaders in a state's largest district coming in at $233,000.
In addition to a macro-level breakdown of state superintendent salaries, Education Week's examination also includes individual profiles for each state's top education official — including their current salary and how it compares to that of their predecessor. With ESSA expected to return more decision-making power to states, these officials are set to conceivably wield more power than their predecessors, as well.
Inevitably, there's a relevant comparison to be made with the salaries of teachers, which have also largely remained flat despite rising expectations and responsibilities. As a result, state education chiefs may find an opportunity to build a feeling of solidarity with those on the "front lines" in classrooms, increasing morale and providing more incentive for these officials to push lawmakers for change.
- Education Week State Superintendent Salaries: How Much Do They Make?
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