With state aid stagnant or dropping, state revenue limits tightening, and school compensation costs outpacing revenues, school districts–particularly their administrators–face growing financial pressures. At the same time, in the never-ending search for savings, the work of administrators is receiving greater scrutiny by school boards and the public alike.
Administrators increasingly wear many hats: fiscal expert, economic forecaster, management consultant, marketer, and savvy politician. In small districts, it is no exaggeration to add bookkeeper, guidance counselor, math teacher, handyman, or coach.
How varied approaches to school administration have become is illustrated by two small northern Wisconsin districts, each with about 500 students. One has four administrators (a superintendent, a business manager, and two principals), while the other has just one (a superintendent).
The same can be found among large districts. A relatively large central Wisconsin district has 22 administrators, while a similarly sized district (about 10% more students) has 32 administrators, or nearly 50% more.
These comparisons suggest there is much taxpayers, educators, and school boards can learn about how schools and districts are managed, both in terms of expenditures and work performed…
The comprehensive article mentions:
Among full time Superintendents, highest salaries were Madison ($198,500), Green Bay ($184,000), Racine ($180,000), Milwaukee ($175,062) and Whitefish Bay ($170,850). On the other hand, 49 full-time district heads earned less than $100,000, including those in Augusta ($65,649), Florence ($85,000), Wheatland J1 ($85,517), Cameron ($86,111), Phillips ($87,000) and Wauzeka-Steuben ($87,000).
When benefits are added, districts with the highest total compensation included Madison ($256,715), Milwaukee ($243,365), Green Bay ($239,700), Franklin ($236,573) and Hamilton ($218,617). Benefits include retirement contributions, employer share of Social Security and Medicare, health, life and disability insurance and other miscellaneous benefits such as reimbursement for college courses.
A comparison of 2010 Wisconsin School Administrative costs can be viewed in this .xls file.
Request a free copy of this issue of the Wisconsin Taxpayer, here.