School Superintendent Pay Tops $23 Million

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Mar. 17, 2003 12:00 am  

(Click here for the list of superintendent salaries.)

Gov. Mike Huckabee's plan for reforming a statewide educational system that has been declared unconstitutional would reduce the number of school districts from 310 to about 110.

The governor's plan has been endorsed by the Arkansas Education Association, the statewide lobbying group for teachers, and by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas. But it has been vehemently opposed by the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, the school superintendents' lobbying group, which favors a competing — and, so far, more successful — bill that would give districts until 2006 to comply with adequacy standards.

Provisions in the governor's bill would protect teacher and support personnel jobs for at least one year after forced consolidation of most districts with fewer than 1,500 students. But it contains no such protections for superintendents.

"It appears that it is the state's attempt to have everyone out of a job and have to reapply for positions ...," Eudora School District Superintendent Bob Tutt wrote in an e-mail to AREA members last month. "116 school districts does not divide into 220 superintendents being out of a job."

(Tutt confirmed that he wrote the e-mail, which was forwarded to Arkansas Business.)

Data provided by the Arkansas Department of Education indicates that the state's 310 school superintendents are being paid $23 million in the current school year — an average salary of $74,811 a year, not including benefits.

The average teacher salary, as of the 2001-2002 school year, was $36,026, according to Department of Education statistical information.

The highest paid superintendent is Dr. Frank Holman of the Cabot School District, the state's 10th largest district, whose salary is $150,000.

The Little Rock School District, with 24,501 students, is by far the state's largest, but its superintendent, T. Kenneth James, has the fourth-highest salary at $145,054. Nos. 2 and 3 are Gary Compton at Bentonville School District, $148,245, and Jim Rollins of the Springdale School District, $147,506.

Highest Countywide Superintendent Salary Costs

The following counties have the highest total public school superintendent salaries for 2002-03:

Rank —County — Total Salaries — Number of Districts — Countywide Enrollment — Enrollment Rank *

1 — Washington — $803,100 — 9 — 28,314 — 2
2 — Benton — $682,161 — 7 — 27,028 — 3
3 — White — $673,345 — 9 — 11,697 — 10
4 — Union — $661,263 — 9 — 8,232 — 16
5 — Craighead — $602,796 — 8 — 13,881 — 7
6 — Garland — $576,396 — 7 — 12,944 — 8
7 — Sebastian — $509,817 — 6 — 18,897 — 4
8 — Independence — $496,903 — 7 — 5,604 — 20
9 — Faulkner — $466,302 — 6 — 14,818 — 5
10 — Crawford — $448,715 — 5 — 10,477 — 13

The following counties have the lowest total public school superintendent salaries for 2002-03:

Lowest Countywide Superintendent Salary Costs

Rank — County — Total Salaries — Number of Districts — Countywide Enrollment — Enrollment Rank*

1 — Scott — $70,024 — 1 — 1,658 — 64
2 — Calhoun — $73,108 — 1 — 770 — 75
3 — Lee — $77,447 — 1 — 1,622 — 65
4 — Little River — $141,741 — 2 — 2,184 — 56
5 — Drew — $163,142 — 2 — 3,115 — 43
6 — Izard — $164,807 — 4 — 1,890 — 59
7 — Clark — $165,286 — 2 — 3,098 — 44
8 — Grant — $165,655 — 2 — 4,608 — 27
9 — Bradley — $169,941 — 2 — 2,158 — 57
10 — Prairie — $175,276 — 3 — 1,446 — 70

*Rank among 75 counties, with 1 being the largest and 75 being the smallest.

Source: Arkansas Department of Education

 

 

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