Wednesday, May 19, 2010

$131 Per Kid

School superintendent salaries are much in the news these days, especially regarding the discrepancies between Gov. Christie’s ($175K) and Comm. Schundler’s ($145K) salaries and those of many chief school administrators. (See here for Star-Ledger coverage, here for The Record, and here for Asbury Park Press, which also includes a handy-dandy data base.) Sort of a silly comparison: next we’ll be comparing President Obama’s relatively paltry compensation package to chief executive officers of corporations. The best school superintendents in NJ earn every dime and it’s a competitive market.

And yet…when you look at, say Bergen County, 234 square miles and 75 school districts, the ol’ efficiency-meter starts to pulse. For argument’s sake, let’s call it 74 school districts because one is Ho-Ho-Kus, which consists of one school, 663 kids, and a superintendent who doubles as a teacher and gets paid $775/year for administrative duties. Using that convenient database from APP, we can see that Bergen County shells out $12,859,000 in salaries for superintendents, with an average annual salary of $173,770. No doubt some chief administrators work their tails off. Then there’s that odd case raises eyebrows. No offense intended – just looking at numbers – but take a gander at Ridgefield Park School District, all of 4 school buildings and 2,011 kids. Superintendent John Richardson will take home $262,500 this year. That comes out to 131 dollars per child enrolled in the school. Shared services, anyone?

1 comment:

Bruce said...

And in 2007, the Head of School at Dwight Englewood (1,000 kids) pulled down $235,000 in salary and in 2008 the head of Saddle River Day school (300 kids) pulled down about $200,000 - both on a per pupil basis much more than $131 per kid... and on the "private market place" of all things. From IRS 990 filings (www.guidestar.org)

That said, I certainly agree that some reorganization/consolidation might be in order in Bergen.