Mirror Mirror, Who Is The Highest Paid Of Them All? - Show-Me Daily - Show-Me Daily
What has shocked people the most about the audit may be the salary and benefit package that the superintendent receives. The report noted:
The district’s superintendent at June 30, 2013, was Dr. David McGehee. His annual compensation was $258,660, which included a deferred compensation allowance of $19,716, family medical insurance of $15,377, and association expenses of $12,000. He was also provided a district vehicle for business and personal use.
Let me be clear. That is $258,660 plus those other benefits. None of this should come as a shock to readers of the Show-Me Daily blog. In 2010, we published a policy study detailing the actual pay of public school superintendents in Missouri and we noted that many receive significant perks.
One of the things we highlighted in that paper was that there seemed to be no correlation between academic performance of students and the compensation of the superintendent. From just a cursory glance, this seems to be the case here. From 2009 to 2013, the percentage of Lee’s Summit students scoring proficient or advanced in math and language arts has remained almost unchanged. Other districts, however, have improved and Lee’s Summit has dropped in the rankings. In 2009, the district was in the top 35 districts in terms of performance on the math and language arts exams. The district since has dropped to 90th and 53rd, respectively.
In approximately the same time frame, the superintendent’s salary has increased dramatically. In 2007, he was paid a salary of $170,000. In the seven years since then, he has received a 52 percent raise. According to data that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects, this makes him the highest-paid superintendent in the state.
Yesterday, I wrote a piece in which I noted that the Lee’s Summit School District superintendent earned $258,660. Indeed, this was the figure cited in the recent audit of the school district and it was an accurate figure. It is not, however, his current salary. Shortly after we published the post, an astute reader of the blog pointed me to the superintendent’s current contract. This year, he is earning $282,831. Yes, he received a $24,171, or 9.3 percent, raise from last year to this year. Next year, he is due to receive $294,463, and $306,735 the year after that.
One mistake I made in the post was stating that his fringe benefits were in addition to his salary. His new contract states that the salary “includes the value of certain fringe benefits,” such as deferred compensation, family medical insurance, association dues, cell phone, business expenses, and a vehicle allowance. So, for the most part, his benefits are included in his salary total. Still, this is a pretty nice salary. In addition to these perks, he is allowed up to $3,000 additional income to cover fuel expenses. And, he is given 30 vacation days on top of holidays.
Let’s not forget, the superintendent is also a member of the Public School Retirement System (PSRS). That means the school district must provide a 14.5 percent match to his retirement contributions. All told, the compensation package for the superintendent of the Lee’s Summit School District is north of $320,000.
The average pay for a governor is $133,348 a year. According to the data, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's salary was $133,821. He is responsible for the entire state of Missouri and not just 17,000 residents.