Superintendent pay increases steady for 2015–16

According to the latest TASB/TASA Superintendent Salary Survey, the average pay increase in 2015‒16 for continuing superintendents was 2.9 percent. Down from the 3.2 percent average increase in 2014‒15, pay raises have leveled off after rising from 2011 levels, when state lawmakers cut school public school funding by $5.4 billion. Pay increases hit a 10-year low (1.6 percent) that year. Again this year, some 71 percent of Texas districts provided a base salary increase to their continuing superintendent.

Examining superintendent pay increases in relationship to the Texas Education Agency (TEA)-defined district community types in Texas, superintendents in major suburban districts saw the highest average increase (4.6 percent). In addition, superintendents in rural districts, which comprise about 40 percent of survey respondents, received a 2.5 percent average pay raise (down from 3 percent last year). Major urban districts gave their superintendents the lowest average pay increase (1.9 percent).

Increases by district size, community type

The average superintendent salary in Texas for 2015‒16 is $139,494 There has been a steady increase in base salaries over the past several years, rising 3.3 percent in 2014‒15 and 2.9 percent for 2015‒16.

Half of reported superintendent salaries in Texas are less than $120,000. In districts with less than 500 students, the average superintendent salary is $92,479, up from $91,272 last year (a 1.3 percent increase). These districts account for 25 percent of survey participants. In the largest Texas districts—those with more than 50,000 students—average base pay is $302,563, up from $288,931 (a 4.7 percent increase).     
Analyzing superintendent salaries by community type, average base pay in rural districts is $96,231, up from $95,162 last year. TEA classifies about 450 of the more than 1,000 public school districts in Texas as rural. Superintendent salaries average $286,092 in major urban districts.

Bonuses increase

Performance and retention bonuses for Texas superintendents rose to an average of $14,038 for 2015‒16. Last year’s average bonus amount dipped from the prior year. The percent of respondents receiving bonuses remained approximately the same: 6 percent of respondents in 2015‒16 compared to 5.8 percent in 2014‒15. According to the survey, job performance is the most common reason for the incentive or bonus.


Some 12 percent of Texas districts hired a new superintendent this year, similar to previous years. Superintendents in Texas have held the position in their current district for an average of four years and typically have seven total years of experience as a superintendent in any district.


Benefits and allowances provided to superintendents include the following:
  • Forty-three percent pay an annual cell phone or Internet allowance with an overall average cost of $1,419.
  • Seventy-one percent pay for the superintendent’s membership to a civic or private organization or club at an average annual cost of $1,118.
  • Eight percent of districts subsidize the superintendent’s housing costs.
  • Five percent provide life insurance benefits and less than 2 percent provide long-term disability policies that are different than what other employees in the district are granted.
Seven hundred and thirty-nine Texas school districts participated in this year’s survey, representing 72 percent of districts statewide. Forty-five percent of participants are small districts—those with fewer than 1,000 students enrolled. Salaries in districts reporting an interim or part-time superintendent were not included in the analysis. Survey data is effective as of July 2015.

TASB HR Services members can now access 2015‒16 Superintendent Salary Survey data in DataCentral. The 2015‒16 Superintendent Compensation in Texas Public Schools report will be available to HR Services members in myTASB on Nov. 23. Nonmembers will be able to purchase it in the TASB Store.