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As hundreds of Texas school districts insist that they are broke and need to raise taxes, last week the Lake Travis ISD voted to give superintendent Rocky Kirk a $6,000 pay raise. This brings his base salary to $231,520, which does not include numerous benefits.

It is well out of proportion with other similarly sized districts. Superintendents of much larger districts make considerably less, such as Montgomery County ISD ($177,650), McAllen ISD ($184,000), and San Marcos ISD ($161,000). However, there are other examples of salaries that are out of line with similarly-sized districts.

Beaumont ISD Superintendent Carroll Thomas has a whopping base salary of $322,117, the second highest in the state. And remember these are base salaries – many superintendents receive not just health insurance and pensions, but also life insurance, car allowances, and health club memberships.

Worst of all, many times when a superintendent must be removed for poor performance, districts must pay hundreds of thousands for work that is never done because these contracts are multi-year. School districts need to look carefully at both the pay of their top administrators as well as the compensation and number of non-teaching staff working in their central office before they ask yet again for more taxpayer money.

The full Texas Education Agency list of Texas superintendent base salaries is online. And read the Austin American Statesman article about Rocky Kirk’s payraise.