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How Much Money Do Public School Administrators Make?

Elmbrook's new superintendent is one of the state's top paid public school administrators. See which administrators are the highest and lowest paid throughout the state of Wisconsin.

In February when the Elmbrook School Board hired the district's first new superintendent in 17 years, members offered him one of the highest superintendent salaries in Wisconsin, behind the state's most populous districts of Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha and Green Bay.

Superintendent Mark Hansen also came in higher than his predecessor, Matt Gibson, who when he retired last June had an annual salary of $158,368. Gibson's salary last year was 13th highest among the state's public school superintendents, according to salary information released on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's website.

Hansen, a former teacher, principal and administrator in districts including Waukesha and Pewaukee, was hired at an annual salary of $170,000, plus a $5,000 annual annuity.

Board members looked at salary comparables of superintendents outside of Wisconsin, in districts were the top administrator's wages often exceeded $200,000. When Elmbrook recruited nationally for Gibson's successor, the district's consultant search firm said the district may pay "in the range of $185,000."

Patch's database, using the DPI information, covers not just superintendents but all public school administrative salaries in 424 districts statewide. The data is from the 2011-12 school year.

DPI also reports on overall staffing cuts

DPI also reported that school districts across the state saw a larger than usual cut in staffing in the 2011-12 school year than in previous years. According to a press release from the DPI, 2,312 positions were eliminated and 60 percent of those spots were teacher jobs.

"The 2011-13 state budget made historically high cuts to education funding," the press release said. "General school aids were cut by $749 million and the per pupil revenue limit was reduced by $1.6 billion from prior law. These large reductions accelerated the budget and staffing cuts many districts have been making over the years."


Top 20 Salaries for Public School District Administrators (2011-12)*

*Note: Some of these districts hired new administrators for 2012-13 and set new salaries.

  1. $265,000 — MPS 
  2. $201,437 — Madison 
  3. $195,000 — Kenosha
  4. $181,962 — Green Bay
  5. $168,938 — River Falls
  6. $168,000 — Whitefish Bay
  7. $166,212 — Eau Claire
  8. $166,531 — Hamilton
  9. $163,256 — Greendale
  10. $162,765 — Peshtigo
  11. $161,558 — Franklin
  12. $159,721 — Mukwonago
  13. $158,368 — Elmbrook
  14. $158,000 — Arrowhead UHS
  15. $158,000 — Menomonee Falls
  16. $157,440 — Wauwatosa
  17. $156,125 — Wausau
  18. $155,900 — Oregon
  19. $155,675 — Middleton-Cross Plains
  20. $155,500 — Stevens Point

Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

a worker November 20, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Just like the superintendent of Utica Community Schools they are all seriously overpaid. Our superintendent earns almost 300,000 dollars per year. That is ridiculous it is actually more than the Michigan Governor receives. If anyone out there is looking for a superintendent I beg you please take hours ...Please!!! Our so called superintendent never once stepped up to the plate to take any kind of a pay cut. However she had no problem laying of 109 dedicated long term employees That is ridiculous. She and the Board of Education actually believes That not getting a raise constitutes a pay cut Again that is ridiculous. They're definitely needs to be a cap on the superintendents wages. I also believe if 109 dedicated employees decided to take a 25 percent pay cut the superintendent should have stepped up to the plate And done the same thing
Walker November 20, 2012 at 01:56 PM
"DPI also reported that school districts across the state saw a larger than usual cut in staffing in the 2011-12 school year than in previous years. According to a press release from the DPI, 2,312 positions were eliminated and 60 percent of those spots were teacher jobs." Speaks for itself.
Mark D Stevenson November 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Note how almost all of the layoffs occurred in districts who rushed to sign new contracts before ACT 10 came into effect. Redundant implications are redundant.

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