A new report shows Texas superintendents making extraordinary base salaries with lucrative benefits that are not available to teachers or many people working in the private sector. Base pay packages of more than $300,000 to upwards of a half-million are increasingly common. In contrast, the governor’s salary is set at $153,750.
Yesterday, we asked readers if school superintendents’ pay in Texas should be capped at no more than that of the governor.
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Here is a sample of the responses we received from our readers after they voted in the survey.
“Rather than capping their pay, eliminate their position. Other than maintenance folks, if you ain’t teaching, you don’t need to be working in the public school system.” – Bob Davis
“Not only should superintendent base salaries be capped, there should be an additional cap for TRS purposes. Basing a retirement annuity on these exorbitant salaries hurts the rest of TRS recipients. As a TRS expert, our legislators as well as school boards should be thinking outside the box to not only rein in salaries for superintendents, but to also help all our school employees when it comes to retirement benefits.” – Wes Brumit
“I had a professor in one of my graduate school education courses who said education will not improve until none of the district’s employees made a higher salary than the highest paid teacher. Makes perfect sense to me. Too many administrators spend more time making useless demands on their teachers and staff in an effort to justify the bloated salaries they make, than they do actually trying to improve academic achievement.” – Madeleine Myers
“They are obviously overpaid bureaucrats, as evidenced by the condition of our public schools.” – Ken Bintliff
“We shouldn’t be in the business of deciding what a school district should pay any of its employees. The CITIZENS of that district should have a say in ALL of the administrative overhead they are suffering via property taxes to pay. All administrative positions, longevity, salary, perks, and benefits should be published and up for public comment and/or approval at least twice a year.” – Melynda B. Caudle
“Yes, cap the superintendent’s pay at 150% of the average teacher’s pay in their district. I think term limits would also be appropriate.” – Thomas Williams
“If STUPID curriculum like CRT and gender pronouns are being taught anywhere, salaries should not only be capped, but be reduced drastically!” – Priscilla Love
“They definitely should have pay limits. The school systems receive a lot of funds from the state, so Texas has a right to put restrictions on those funds.” – Ashton Oravetz, III
“If the company is not accomplishing its goals, they fire the CEO. Schools across the nation are failing, but the superintendents are seeing increasing pay? Frankly, I think the best course of action is to cap their pay at $0 and eliminate the public school system.” – Roger Taylor
“Superintendents’ salaries should not only be capped, but the outrageous salaries should not be factored into their retirement annuities. TRS should not use that level of artificial income for calculating the retirement benefits.” – Laura Nunn
“No, if you have a high-quality super, the school district should be able to pay more, but the pay should be voted on by the voters in the district. As it is now, the board makes the decision, often without regard to quality or performance.” – Martin Gibson
“If we are going to cap pay for superintendents, then pay must be capped for every occupation to include athletes, politicians, and all entertainers. Then we can all sit back and wait for dictatorship to fully envelope the United States.” – Deanna Withers
“Salaries are set and capped in every other area of government that exists on either taxation or tax dollars, except school boards and superintendents. School districts are not kingdoms, nor should they act like one.” – Rick Goncher
“If it was a private company, I’d say good for them. But no public servant or any person being paid by taxpayer dollars should receive such an exorbitant pay.” – Frances Davis
“I don’t believe the governor’s salary should be the cap for school superintendents; however, it should not be open-ended. Schools are not companies for profit.” – Kent Kirby
“School boards need to control spending everywhere, including superintendents’ salaries. THEY are the ones who need to be held accountable.” – Bob Schmidt
“Texas school superintendents’ pay should not only be capped, but commensurate withthe success of students at the schools in his/her district.” – Charles McCrod
“I think superintendents’ salary should be capped but at an appropriate amount for the size of the district, not based on the governor’s salary.” – Duane Murray
“I think the pay and benefits of many school superintendents is outrageous. But, it is up to the voters in those school districts to put a stop to it. If voters would pay attention and vote out those who are authorizing these salaries, then it could be stopped. How can you be against price controls, against government over-regulation,and be for capping anyone’s pay?” – Ken Hodges
“Superintendent pay should be capped at twice the average pay of all teachers in their district.” – Leo Bricker
“If superintendents are paid from property tax, then all property taxpayers should have a vote on salary increases. In fact, all government employees should be be capped!” – Johnny Nail
“If the taxpayers want to pay an individual an exorbitant amount for substandard performance, that is their choice. But, it needs to be on the ballot so they can make the choice, not some backroom decision by his cronies.” – Rex Reeve
“I would be our local school superintendent for HALF of what the current one makes–and I’d do a better job, too! Some of these clowns make more than the president of the United States! And the quality of public education just keeps getting worse. Don’t cut their pay, FIRE THEM!” – Steve Price
“I can hear it now: ‘But if we pay too low, we risk hiring someone unqualified to administer our large district.’ Remember, this is not a private business. If that is the case, simply split your district into smaller ones, with a side benefit of greater voter accountability.” – Kevin Wade
“It is completely ridiculous that a person that makes decisions for a single school district would be paid more than the person who makes decisions for our entire state. Also, I believe that the exorbitant pay lends to more opportunities for corruption.” – Mike Noble
“Their pay should certainly be governed by what they produce. Instead of pursuing a political agenda, they should be required to produce students who can at least read at grade level.” – Lloyd Smith