Lubbock School Superintendent Pay Shows Huge Disparity- A Look at the Numbers
Public employee's salaries are public information, should you choose to go digging for those numbers. This includes teachers, and many people who work for State or National agencies. When I worked at a library, my pay rate was public, and also very, very sad.
The Houston Chronicle put together a searchable database of Texas public school superintendent salaries. The Superintendent of Harris County's Cypress-Fairbanks ISD makes over a half a million dollars a year. What does a superintendent do to make all that money?
The superintendent is responsible for managing day-to-day operations, preparing and administering the district's budget, organizing the district's central administration, and ensuring that the district focuses on its primary mission—student academic achievement and progress.
That superintendent is in Houston, and probably oversees many, many classrooms and kids. Or it could just be a particularly wealthy area, or perhaps that person is extremely talented and effective. Those are all important things to consider on whether their pay is "fair" or not.
What I'm interested in is Lubbock. The highest paid superintendent in Lubbock is Keith Bryant, of Lubbock-Cooper ISD, who makes about $281,000. He is followed by Kathy Rollo of Lubbock ISD at about $259,000, then Jerri McCord of Frenship at $226,800. After that, there is a significant plunge in pay for superintendents of small districts and charter public schools. The lowest paid superintendent makes only $50,000. The gap in pay between Lubbock superintendents is a whopping $231,376.
Is it fair to look at the numbers that way? Maybe not. If you look at their pay-per-student, the person making the least amount of money out of every superintendent is Dr. Rollo. Lubbock ISD has about 25,660 students, so she's making about $10 a kid. The highest paid per student superintendent in Lubbock County is Merinda Condra of the Betty M Condra School for Education Innovation, who only makes $110,250, but per student that's $596 a head.
If all my calculations are correct, the average pay of a Lubbock County superintendent is only $158,000. Compared to Harris County, that's a huge gap in pay.
Of course, this is just base pay. These folks might make bonuses depending on their students academic performances or some other metric.
In my opinion, the worst disparity is what teachers make versus their work load, education and risks they take each day. The average teacher in Texas makes about $54K. I wish Texas treated teachers better and incentivized the good ones to stay in the profession. They are really invaluable, and should be rewarded for their incredibly hard work.