Salary key in Pasadena superintendent search
Trustee studies strategy designed to recruit, retain
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
Deciding how much to pay a school superintendent can make school board members lose sleep.
It’s such a hot item that the Texas Association of School Boards had a workshop session on the topic at its statewide winter conference two weeks ago in Corpus Christi.
In fact, the session on Planning Superintendent Compensation was offered twice during the three-day conference.
Nelda Sullivan, the Pasadena Independent School District board president, was there, taking notes.
Pasadena ISD is seeking a replacement for Rick Schneider, who retired in mid-December after nearly 14 years as superintendent.
His annual base salary of $255,000 reflected not only the unusual length of his service but also the district’s size — nearly 50,000 students and 5,000 employees — and students’ scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, Sullivan said. If he were still working, Schneider would rank as the third highest paid superintendent in the area, according to a Houston Chronicle study conducted as part of Sunshine Week, a national program that stresses the importance of open records.
While the search is under way, Kirk Lewis, who was previously deputy superintendent for administration, is serving as acting superintendent.
As acting superintendent, Lewis earns $144,000.
At his base salary of $255,000, Schneider was among the best paid superintendents in the state, according to this year’s superintendent survey conducted by the Texas Association of School Boards in conjunction with the Texas Association of School Administrators.
As self-reported by 775 superintendents across the state, the average superintendent salary in the responding districts is $100,027, an increase of 4 percent over the 2004-05 school year.
The median superintendent salary (with half the reported salaries below that point and half above it) also increased by 4 percent, to $87,464 for this school year.
The Houston area’s seven-county Region 4 Education Service Center, with 54 school districts, has the state’s highest paid superintendents, with an average base salary of $148,573.