- As superintendents from across the country gather in Los Angeles this week for the annual meeting of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the organization's latest salary survey shows pay ranging from a low of $42,000 to a high of almost $400,000. Those leading the smallest districts earn a median salary of $96,750 for males and $94,000 for females, while the largest districts of 25,000 students or more have median salaries of $260,000 for males and $259,892 for females.
- While there has been "slow but consistent growth" in the rate of female superintendents responding, male district leaders still outnumber females in the position by a four-to-one ratio. Females also tend to enter the role slightly later than males and often have more classroom teaching and district-level experience.
- The 1,433 responses also show that while males serve in the role slightly longer than females, longevity for female superintendents has increased over the seven years AASA has been conducting the survey. Overall, at least half of the superintendents responding have served between one and five years, and less than 15% have been in the position for at least 10 years.
Sessions at the conference this week will touch on some of the issues that show up in the survey. For example, on Friday, Sharon Contreras, superintendent of the Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, Tolleson Elementary School District (Arizona) Superintendent Lupita Hightower and Hawaii State Superintendent Christina Kishimoto are among the female superintendents who will participate in a discussion on the pathway to the superintendent’s office from a female perspective.
Other findings from the survey show that there is a declining trend in linking student performance to a superintendent’s formal evaluation. While 34% said there is a connection, 66% said there is not. More than half of respondents, however, said their evaluations are linked to objectives or goals specified in the previous year’s evaluation.
Only 15% of superintendents described their district’s economic status as strong. More than half — 56% — said their district’s condition was stable, and almost 29% said their district’s condition was declining. While there has been a slight drop since 2013 in the percentage of respondents saying their district is in decline, female superintendents are generally “less optimistic about the economic stability of their district” than their male counterparts, the survey report says.