EDUCATION

While school district superintendent salaries vary across Texas, those who oversee local districts are paid above the state average.

The Killeen Independent School District reported Superintendent John Craft's salary as $254,918 per year as of 2017.

Data on superintendent salaries is provided annually to the Texas Education Agency by the school districts.

Copperas Cove ISD Superintendent Joe Burns earns $189,943 per year, as reported to the TEA.

The amount listed on Burns' most recent contract with CCISD is $178,000 per year, according to Wendy Sledd, CCISD spokeswoman.

The difference in amounts may be because benefits are included in the amount reported to the TEA, said DeEtta Culbertson, TEA spokeswoman.

"It's what the district submits," Culbertson said as far as the superintendent salaries posted on the TEA website.

KISD gave their employees and the superintendent a 2.5 percent raise for the 2017-2018 school year, according to Terry Abbott, chief communications officer.

CCISD did not give either the superintendent or other district employees a raise for the 2017-2018 school year, Sledd said.

Superintendents in Belton and Temple received a 2 percent raise this year, similar to the state average of 2.9 percent.

The Texas Association of School Boards recently reported that the average pay increase for continuing superintendents in Texas was 2.9 percent for the 2017-18 school year. This data came from a survey of superintendent salaries and benefits conducted by TASB and the Texas Association of School Administrators.

Superintendent Robin Battershell of Temple Independent School District and Superintendent Susan Kincannon of Belton Independent School District both received raises of 2 percent this year.

“Dr. Battershell’s salary is $211,916, which is a 2 percent increase from last year,” Temple ISD spokesman Matthew LeBlanc said.

Kincannon’s salary was increased to $195,000. She has been superintendent since January 2011, replacing Vivian Baker.

“At the conclusion of her tenure as Superintendent (December 2010), Dr. Vivian Baker was making $160,000 annually,” Belton ISD spokeswoman Elizabeth Cox said.

Battershell is retiring at the end of this year, her 10th as Temple ISD’s superintendent.

“The previous superintendent, Beto Gonzales, made $162,716 in 2007,” LeBlanc said.

Both Temple and Belton ISDs gave an across-the-board 2 percent raise to district employees as well. Although the superintendent raises were the same, they were voted on by the school boards separately.

“The board also approved district employees receiving a raise equal to 2 percent of the midpoint of their salary range and an increase in the district’s monthly health plan contribution for each employee,” Cox said.

TASB reported that nearly two-thirds of Texas districts gave their continuing superintendent a pay raise. But the average of 2.9 percent is a slight decrease from the 2016-17 average of 3.2 percent.

Over the past five years, superintendent raises have remained around 3 percent. The current average salary for a superintendent is $146,073.

In districts with fewer than 500 students, the average superintendent makes $96,119 a year. In districts with more than 50,000 students superintendents make an average of $320,532.

Killeen ISD has over 44,000 students attending schools in the district. Copperas Cove ISD has over 8,000 students.

Temple ISD has about 8,600 students, and Belton ISD has more than 11,500 students. The average salary of a superintendent with more than 10,000 students is $230,307. The average salary in districts with between 5,000 and 9,999 students is $205,501.

Superintendents in rural districts make an average of $101,227. Those in urban districts make an average of $314,366. The Texas Education Agency considers 459 of the state’s public school districts to be rural.

School superintendents in Texas have an average of seven years’ experience as a superintendent, and have held their current jobs for an average of four years. Most have served in only one school district.

Ninety-four Texas districts hired a new superintendent for the current school year. Of those, 69 percent hired someone who had not been a superintendent before.

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