Financial Accountability
12:06 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Drastic Pay Difference Per Student Between Charter & Public School Superintendents

SBOE member Thomas Ratliff.
SBOE member Thomas Ratliff.
Credit State of Texas

New numbers released by Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff shows superintendents at Texas charter schools are paid more than their public school counterparts.   

Ratliff has been sifting through the annual financial reports for public schools and charter schools, which are put out by the Texas Education Agency.  

"From what I’ve seen there are a lot superintendents from some very small charter schools making a whole lot of money, especially if you compare them to their public school or their ISD counterparts,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff said one of the first things that caught his eye was the fact that on average the top 10 highest paid Texas charter school superintendents are paid 12 times more than the top 10 highest paid public school superintendents.

From the release:

  • "The top 10 highest paid superintendents for charter schools are paid an average of $242,172 per year with an average enrollment of 3,037 students. ($79.74/student)."
  • "The top 10 highest paid superintendents for public schools are paid an average of $323,156 per year with an average enrollment of 50,555 students. ($6.39/student)."

"Granted they do have a smaller school so those ratios are going to be higher, but when you look at some of the comparably-sized public schools they’re not paying this kind of money," Ratliff said.

Ratliff said following the release of this report he was contacted by several charter school advocate groups criticizing the data and arguing that they are as accountable to parents and taxpayers. But Ratliff said with charter schools, unlike public schools, the community doesn’t have a say in who they hire and how much they are paid. He said he is hoping the report will begin a more transparent process.

Read Ratliff's entire release here:

Texas Charter School Financial Accountability