Florida has five of the nation’s 12 largest public school districts in terms of student enrollment. Likewise, superintendents of the Sunshine State’s biggest districts are among the country’s highest paid.
According to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), 13 district superintendents make more than $200,000 in annual base salaries, including three who earn more than $300,000 a year.
Nearly 40 of the state’s 67 public school district superintendents earn more in a year than Gov. Rick DeSantis’ annual $130,273 salary. In fact, the average base salary of the state’s 96 assistant school district superintendents – $130,543 – is more than what the governor makes.
The average salary for Florida’s school district superintendents is $155,269, which is in range of the national average school superintendent salary of $159,603, as of June 27, 2019, according to Salary.com.
Miami-Dade School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho leads the state’s largest school district. Its 357,249 students rank it as the fifth-largest school district in the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
The only pubic school districts with more enrolled students in 2018 was New York City Public Schools (995,336 students), the Los Angeles Unified School District (667,273), the Puerto Rico Department of Education (437,202) and City of Chicago Public Schools (405,655).
Carvalho’s $352,874 annual base salary is on par with superintendents of the nation’s four largest districts. In February 2018, he turned down New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s offer – and a $353,000 salary – to lead NYC’s schools.
Current NYC School Chancellor Richard Carranza is being paid a $345,000 base salary, which ranks him only among the top 10 or so in New York state, where at least a dozen school district superintendents, primarily in affluent lower Hudson Valley and Long Island suburban areas, earn more than $300,000.
The highest-paid school district superintendent in New York is Harrison Central School District chief Louis N. Wool with a base salary of $404,326.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner’s annual base salary through 2021 is $350,000 and Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson was hired in January 2018 with an annual base salary of $260,000.
After Miami-Dade School District, the nation’s sixth largest public school district is the Clark County School District, primarily consisting of Las Vegas and Henderson, with 314,059 enrolled students.
The Broward County School District with 256,472 enrolled students is the seventh-largest in the country. Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie’s annual base salary is $342,370. Runcie's travel expenses after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have been called into question by government finance watchdog openthebooks.com.
Runcie’s base pay is also on par with the superintendents of the nation’s largest school districts, including that of Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky ($320,000) and that of Grenita Lathan ($345,060), who is the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the nation’s eighth-largest district with 204,245 enrolled students.
Lathan may lead Texas’ largest school district, but she is not the highest-paid superintendent in the Lone Star State. In fact, there are three earning base annual salaries of more than $400,000 – Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District Superintendent John Henry earns $406,484 – and 43 are paid more than $300,000 a year, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Overall, there are more than 1,000 school districts in Texas, where the average pay among superintendents during the 2017-18 school year was $125,773, according to TEA.
In Florida, Hillsborough County Public Schools with 194,525 students is ninth largest district in the nation, Orange County Public Schools with 176,008 students is 11th and the School District of Palm Beach County is 12th with 174,663 students, according to the NCES.
Hillsborough County District Superintendent Jeff Eakins, who is retiring, earns $228,995 in base salary, Orange County Superintendent Barbara M. Jenkins $329,493 and Palm Beach County Superintendent Donald Fennoy, $290,000, according to the Florida DOE.