Editor's Note: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy acknowledged that some numbers in the superintendent database released last week may be incorrect. For instance, the center's figures show Utica Community Schools' superintendent as being the highest compensated in the state with a package of $300,789. But the Kalamazoo Gazette said that distinction might actually go to its superintendent, who has a total package worth $344,667 in 2012. MLive reported that the center's director said he’s received several phone calls from superintendents saying certain information is not correct.
The superintendents of Anchor Bay and L'Anse Creuse school districts may not have the top salaries in the state, but those six-figure numbers combined with contract benefits make these positions among the highest compensated of their kind in Michigan.
According to a new database compiled by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and using 2012 salary and benefit information provided by school districts throughout the state, the total compensation for L'Anse Creuse's superintendent is $250,253.
While Jackie Johnston's base salary is actually $185,000 – the 14th highest in the state – insurance, pension, annuity, travel and other expenses bring the lump sum to $250,253, according to The Mackinac Center.
With 12,172 students enrolled as of 2012, L'Anse Creuse is the 15th largest district in the state.
Meanwhile the superintendent of Anchor Bay, which is the 43rd largest district in the state, earns $236,881 in total compensation, although Leonard A. Woodside's base salary is $162,894.
In contrast, New Haven's superintendent earns $133,450 in total compensation, the 173rd lowest recorded in the database. However, New Haven is a district of less than 1,400 students.
"While compensation for superintendents only amounts to about 1 percent of public school spending, the public should have easy access to this particular information,” said Michael Van Beek, Mackinac Center director of education policy, in a press release. “As CEOs of districts and often the highest paid government employee in a local community, superintendent pay deserves an extra level of public scrutiny."
See how other area districts compare:
- Utica Community Schools – $300,789
- Chippewa Valley Schools – $253,527
- Clintondale Community Schools – $224,926
- Anchor Bay School District – $196,157
- Mt. Clemens Community School District – $184,048
Note: The numbers above represent the worth of each superintendent's total compensation package. Superintendents earn an average salary of $115,000 in Michigan, according to the database.
See the full database at http://www.mackinac.org/depts/epi/salary.aspx.