UC’s average superintendent salary falls short

More rural districts — like, oh, let’s say Union County — may not save nearly as much money by consolidating into countywide districts as Sen. Ruth Whitaker thinks.

Though the analysis done by the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research puts the savings at $21.3 million to the state based off an average $130,222 salary per superintendent per year, necessarily smaller salaries in Union County mean proportionately smaller savings.

Calls Friday to the various superintendents inquiring about their salaries yielded several answers but two supers never felt the need to make calls back despite the public dollars funding their positions.

Superintendents Bob Watson (El Dorado), Danny Thomas (Junction City) and Don Smeltzer (Smackover) each willingly revealed their salaries. Office personnel gave out numbers for Strong-Huttig. Kudos to them.

However, I never received so much as a smoke signal or messenger pigeon, let alone a phone call back, from superintendents in Norphlet or Parkers Chapel. Shame on them.

Based on numbers e-mailed by the Arkansas Department of Education, in Union County the average salary is $103,133 for each superintendent per year; and I’d be willing to wager that other rural districts will have averages even lower that Union County, meaning that the logic used to build the $21.3 million figure is faulty at best.

In speaking in terms of quality versus quantity (and I’ve said this before), it only makes good sense that a number of quality superintendents can do a better job keeping personal control of their respective districts than one mediocre superintendent. And even if that one superintendent is completely brilliant, he or she would still need to be aided by additional personnel in each school to ensure that it’s running the way it should be so as to not lose touch with some of the smaller, more rural schools.

Here’s the specific salary numbers:
El Dorado — $165,776
Junction City — $81,385
Norphlet — $91,222
Parkers Chapel — $113,887
Smackover — $76,528
Strong-Huttig — $90,000

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5 Responses to UC’s average superintendent salary falls short

  1. AFM says:

    With two weeks off at Christmas, one during Spring Break, countless other holidays and three months off in summer, wonder what their per hour salary is! Mind-blowing! How can we pay B.W. $165,000 when a starting out teacher makes less than $30,000?

    To go one step farther as to how our priorities are screwed up, how can we pay a football coach right at 3 million dollars? And we oft wonder why our nation (specifically our area of the State of Arkansas) has rotted and dwindled away before our very eyes…

  2. Admin says:

    Oh I’m not going to argue with you at all on that point AFM. A starting teacher’s salary is way below what it should be for someone shaping young minds and preparing them for the real world, for the future.

    My point is that Union County superintendents are paid far below what other county superintendents are. Can you imagine how high theirs are in comparison? It’s disgusting to even contemplate.

  3. GL717 says:

    The savings number was based on the average salary and benefits of $130K. Benefits (taxes, retirement, health ins.) usually run in the 30% range. So, if you take the raw salary number for UC of $103K and add 30% for benefits, the result of $134K is a little *over* the average.

  4. Admin says:

    Touche. You have a point here on the raw numbers versus raw numbers plus benefits.

  5. Ken Hamilton says:

    Taxpayers pay very little of Bobby Petrino’s salary.

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