Should School Superintendents' Salaries be Capped?

By Megan Trent

July 28, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 1:08 AM EST

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - An Indiana Education Committee met for the fist time in Indianapolis Thursday to evaluate whether the state should cap school superintendent salaries and benefits.

Indiana's 2011 Interim Study Committee on Education Issues is being co-chaired by State Senator Dennis Kruse. Kruse says the committee decided superintendent compensation was an issue for local school boards, not legislators.

"School board members need the flexibility to be able to choose the best person, and they need that negotiation to be able to offer a package deal that's better than what they might be getting in another state as well as another community. Each individual school corporation has different needs and they have different budgets."

The disparities in pay from district to district are significant. There are 291 school districts in Indiana, and according the Indiana Department of Education, superintendents earn a collective $33 million each year. That's an average of more than $113,000.

Some districts may have salaries set at less than $30,000, while others are set at more than $260,000. According to our partners in news at the Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson made $195,000 in 2010. That's $100,000 more than Governor Mitch Daniels.

However, Kruse says salaries and benefits typically parallel the number of students enrolled in a district. "School corporations have probably aligned those properly with the size of school corporations overall in the state. I think the marketplace is doing its job there."

The committee is also tasked with studying ways to raise Indiana's graduation rates by evaluating the impact of counselors, teachers, and parents.




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