Superintendent Salary Survey Shows Compensation Increases for Texas School Leaders in 2023-24
Austin— The median salary for a Texas school superintendent in 2023–24 is $150,000, an increase of 0.7% from the prior year, according to the annual Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Superintendent Salary Survey.
The survey is conducted each fall to help school districts across the state understand compensation trends. Of all the responsibilities entrusted to school board members, among the most important is hiring and evaluating a superintendent, said Amy Campbell, director of TASB HR Services, which administers the survey.
“In today’s competitive labor market, it’s important that school board members have the latest compensation data so they can develop a compelling pay and benefits package that will help them recruit or retain the best superintendent for their district,” Campbell said.
This year's survey included participation from 736 districts, representing 72% of districts in Texas and marking a higher rate of participation over last year. There was a wide variation in median salaries based on district size, with a range from $112,466 in districts with fewer than 500 students to $349,600 in districts with enrollments of 50,000 or more.
Among the 196 smallest districts with 499 or fewer students that responded to the survey, the median superintendent pay increased to $112,466, which is 3.4% higher than the year before.
“Smaller school districts account for the majority of districts in Texas so it’s important to look at the survey results based on enrollment,” Campbell said. “We provide an overview of salaries based on the median so school boards can better understand the numbers as they relate to their district.” District administrators can run reports based on enrollment and education service center region using TASB HRDataSource™.
The survey also looks at trends in superintendent experience. Of the 134 districts in Texas reporting a new superintendent in 2023-24, 91 school boards, or 68%, hired a superintendent with no previous experience in the position. In 2022-23, the percentage of districts hiring a first-time superintendent was slightly higher at 73%.
Campbell said the overall trend has stayed relatively constant in recent years.. New superintendents generally have prior experience as a deputy or assistant superintendent so they’re not entirely new to a district leadership role.
Another data point of interest is the amount of time that superintendents spend in that role in their district. The median is about three years, which remains unchanged from last year. The median experience for superintendents overall is five years total.
Salaries remain only one part of a superintendent’s overall compensation package, and the survey results also include data on bonuses, transportation benefits, health insurance benefits and cell phone reimbursement, all of which can add significant value.
Key findings include:
- Only 3.4% of responding districts (24) gave a bonus to their superintendent with more than half of those bonuses being $10,000 or less. Compared to the last year, the percentage of districts paying a bonus dropped slightly from 4%.
- 19% of responding districts (132) are paying a car allowance to their superintendents, which held steady from last year after a downward trend over the past five years. The median vehicle allowance is $6,000, a number that has stayed consistent. Only 11% of districts provide a vehicle for the sole use of the superintendent.
- 88% of districts reported paying health insurance benefits for their superintendent with a median contribution of $3,900 annually, which remains unchanged from last year. That percentage has stayed consistent between 84% and 89% over the past five years.
- 35% of districts (244) reported providing their superintendent with a cell phone allowance. The median is $1,200 annually, an amount unchanged from last year.
- 26% of districts (186) reported paying a portion of the superintendent’s required TRS contribution. The median contribution is $17,256, a 7.5% increase over last year.
- Some districts pay housing subsidies to superintendents, with 11% or 79 providing either a residence or housing allowance. Only eight districts reported providing both. The median housing allowance is $6,000, up from last year’s median of $4,900.
In compiling the survey data, TASB HR Services sends an email survey invitation to 1,019 school districts across the state. Salary data from districts with interim and part-time superintendents is not included.
“We always want to provide school board trustees with resources and information to help them be successful in recruiting and retaining top superintendent talent,” Campbell said. “The survey data provides insights that can be used to develop superintendent contracts that reflect the market while bridging the needs of the district with that of its top leader.”
TASB is a nonprofit organization established in 1949 to serve local Texas 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 public school students.