Oklahoma Superintendents’ Salaries

A recent report from Oklahoma Watch reveals some interesting data about charter school superintendent salaries

Oklahoma Watch published a list of Oklahoma Superintendents’ salaries in an article, “Data Center Update: How Much Does Your Superintendent Make?” by Jennifer Palmer.

As Palmer points out, “For some superintendents, especially in smaller districts, total pay reflects multiple jobs, such as working as a principal or teacher.”

Some superintendents split their time between two districts or work a partial year. On the chart, this is noted with “**”.

Charter schools, which are funded with public money, are noted with a “*”.

What I found interesting and useful about the list is the last column, which indicates a superintendent’s total pay per student. There were astounding differences in numbers, especially comparing the compensation of traditional public school superintendents with charter school superintendents. I question why school districts agree to double up on superintendents in the same district. Doesn’t this make a charter school a private school being paid for, at least in part, with taxpayer funds?

For example, if you look at Tulsa County in the table, Superintendent Deborah Gist’s total compensation is $319,291 to oversee a district enrollment of 39,596 students, which makes her pay per student $8. Compare that with Kipp Tulsa’s (charter) superintendent’s compensation of $138, 837 to oversee 321 students at a price of $433 per student.

The Jenks superintendent’s compensation is listed as $239,152 for a student population of 12,319 students, or $19 per student, compared with Tulsa Honor Academy’s (charter) superintendent who makes $93,870 or $306 per student. The superintendent of Deborah Brown Community School, another Tulsa charter, makes $466 per student with a salary of $124,429 to oversee just 267 students.

Across the board, most charter administrators’ salaries and compensation packages were way out of line with the number of students in their schools.

Why are charter school administrator salaries so far out of line with regular public school superintendents’ salaries?

NOTE: Source for table screen shots below is OKLAHOMA WATCH

Categories: Editor’s Blog