School district administrators often live in the crossfire, sandwiched between students and teachers, parents and school boards, taxpayers and state mandates. Even though salaries typically exceed $100,000, it’s a job not many want.
Those who take the job and keep it are in high demand, able to command an array of benefits and other enticements. A Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team review of nearly 100 school administrator contracts around the state revealed perks including five-figure annuities, promised payouts of $60,000 or more at retirement, car allowances of at least $500 per month and bonuses of $10,000 or more for meeting performance goals, staying with the district or simply moving into the district.
“There’s a diminishing pool of people wanting superintendent jobs — mostly because of the nature of the job and the things that go with it, particularly politically — so district boards are often really focused today more on incentives to retain superintendents,” said Jon Bales, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.