2020–2021 TASB/TASA Superintendent Salary Survey Highlights

For release: November 25, 2020
Contact: Janelle Guillory, 800.580.7782, extension 2408, janelle.guillory@tasb.org
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(Austin)—A recent survey of district trends in superintendents’ salaries and benefits was released by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA).

Survey Information

  • All 1,021 Texas public school districts received the Superintendent Salary Survey questionnaire.
  • By October 5, 2020, 672 districts participated, representing 66 percent of districts in Texas. Districts reported 21 interim superintendents and one part-time/non-interim superintendent; those 22 are excluded from our analysis.
  • Data represents only the survey participants. Survey participants may not have answered all questions.
  • Medians (50th percentile) are used for reporting to reduce the impact of outliers (compared to average/mean).

Superintendent Salaries

The median superintendent salary for 2020–2021 is $137,314, an increase of 4.0 percent from last year ($132,000). Median salaries for superintendents range from $100,500 in districts with fewer than 500 students to $327,240 in districts with more than 50,000 students.

Supt Salary

Pay Increases

The median superintendent pay increase was 3.0 percent, down from 3.3 percent last year. Seventy-three (73) percent of returning superintendents received a base salary increase. Where benefits were reported as having been converted to salary, they were excluded from the pay increase calculations.

Superintendent Experience

Superintendents have served in their current district for a median of three years and have a median of five years of total experience as a superintendent in any district. Most (66 percent) have only served as superintendent in their current school district. Of the 96 districts (15 percent) with a new superintendent for 2020–2021, 57 districts hired a superintendent with no previous experience in the position.

Bonuses

Few school boards pay bonuses to their superintendent. Only 6 percent of respondents (36 districts) gave a bonus to the superintendent, which is lower than the 8 percent doing so last year. Most bonuses are paid to the superintendent to promote retention. The median shows more than half of bonuses paid were $5,000 or less.

Transportation Benefits

Currently, 22 percent of responding districts (146) provide a car allowance to the superintendent to cover part or all of the cost of a personal vehicle. The median annual vehicle allowance is $6,000. A much smaller group, 8 percent of districts (54), provide a vehicle for the sole use of the superintendent.

Health Insurance Benefits

Most superintendents (88 percent) receive health insurance benefits from the district. The median district contribution for superintendent health insurance is $3,811 annually. Employee-only coverage was most common, followed by employee-plus-children. Of responding districts, 37 percent of superintendents (242) reported employee-only rates (median district contribution of $3,720), and 18 percent (114) reported employee-plus-children rates (median district contribution of $3,744). Fewer districts than last year, only 8 percent, provide a health insurance premium benefit to superintendents beyond that provided to other full-time employees.

Other Benefits

  • Dues for membership to civic, private, or professional organizations and clubs: 66 percent of respondents (431) pay dues for the superintendent. The median annual expense to the district is $1,000.
  • Allowance for cell phone and/or internet service: 40 percent of districts (259) provide the superintendent with this allowance. The median annual allowance is $1,200.
  • Paying portion of superintendent’s required Teacher Retirement System (TRS) contribution: 17 percent of districts (111) reported paying a portion of the required TRS contribution. The median contribution is $14,553.
  • Contributions to a tax-deferred investment account: 12 percent of districts (78) contribute to an account for the superintendent. The median contribution is $10,000. Of those making contributions, 40 percent of districts (31) require at least one year of service for the district’s contribution to be vested.
  • Housing subsidies: 10 percent of districts (68) provide a housing subsidy. Of those, 49 districts provide a residence only, seven provide a housing allowance only, and 12 provide a residence plus housing allowance. The median housing allowance is $4,800.
  • Allowance for business expenses: 8 percent of districts (50) provide the superintendent with this allowance. The median annual allowance is $4,800.
  • Life Insurance, Long-Term Disability, and TRS Service Credit Purchase: fewer than 4 percent of districts provide these benefits to their superintendent.

Description of Survey

This survey is a compilation of superintendent salary and benefit information submitted to TASB HR Services during fall of the 2020–2021 school year. The survey invitation was emailed to 1,021 public school districts. Data in this report summarizes responses to the TASB/TASA Superintendent Salary Survey online questionnaire. Accurate and timely information helps school officials set educator salaries. Local school boards can use data from this survey to effectively recruit, retain, and reward superintendents through the development of competitive compensation packages. All superintendent compensation packages are unique and are tailored to the needs of the superintendent and local school district. Superintendents may receive other benefits or pay elements not captured in this survey.

Survey Methodology

Standard mathematical and statistical calculations were used in compiling and analyzing the data. If a superintendent had less than one year of experience, zero was used; otherwise years of experience were rounded to the closest whole number.

TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.4 million students.

TASA is the professional association for Texas school superintendents and other administrators. The mission of the organization, which focuses on professional learning, advocacy and member engagement, is to promote, provide and develop leaders who create and sustain student-centered schools and develop future-ready students.