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 superintendent of Utica Community Schools may not have the top salary in the state, but that six-figure number combined with contract benefits makes this position the highest compensated of its 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 UCS' superintendent is approximately $300,789.
While Dr. Christine Johns' base salary is actually $194,400 – the seventh highest in the state – insurance, pension, annuity, travel and other expenses bring the lump sum to $300,789, according to The Mackinac Center.
With 29,541 students enrolled as of 2012, Utica remains the second-largest district in the state behind Detroit Public Schools.
The superintendents of Chippewa Valley and L'Anse Creuse, the eighth and 15th largest districts in the state, earn $253,527 and $250,253 in total compensation, respectively.
In contrast, New Haven's superintendent earns $133,450, the 173rd lowest total compensation 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 Macomb area districts compare:
- Anchor Bay School District – $236,881
- Rochester Community School District – $235,679
- Clintondale Community Schools – $224,926
- Romeo Community Schools – $194,342
- Fraser Public Schools – $192,356
- 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.