CT School Superintendents Get High Pay, Perks

With a pay of $140,000 annually, Stratford Supt. Irene Cornish was below the state average pay for a school district leader. Some make more than $200,000 annually and get monthly allotments to interact with their communities.

Besides their hefty six-figure salaries, Connecticut school superintendents also command enviable perks and bonuses, according to a report in the New Haven Register.

Along with its sister news organizations, including the Middletown Press and the Litchfield County Times, the Register found that the average pay for school superintendents in Connecticut is $166,000 and that they can significantly boost that pay with other negotiated perks and benefits, including compensation for unused sick time, meal allowances, travel pay and bonuses.

Before she retired at the end of 2012, Stratford Supt. Irene Cornish was under contract for $140,000 a year, at which level of pay it costs Stratford $19.18 per student for the superintendent's salary, the newspapers found.

The newspapers also reported that Cornish got $6,600 for mileage, 30 vacation days, 18 sick days and four personal days.

The Register included in its story a database of its review of the pay of 148 superintendents, along with links to their contracts.

Some school superintendents earn more than $200,000 annually and get tens of thousands more each year in perks, the newspapers found. Many also get generous benefit packages that include up to a month of vacation time and several weeks of sick time that can be accrued and then paid out if unused.

While the average annual pay for a school superintendent in Connecticut is $166,000, many school leaders make more than that, the report states. In West Hartford, for instance, Superintendent Karen List makes $230,000 annually with a tax-sheltered annuity included. That makes her the 14th highest paid superintendent in Connecticut.

OpportunistWatch January 03, 2013 at 03:50 PM
All top paid "Opportunists" who don't miss a beat to justify their fat paycheck. Cops and fire chiefs who pump up their last 3 years of salary average to double their pensions for retirement should be made a criminal act. Stratford Lawyer acting as a mayor gives huge payouts to his buddies before leaving office while schools fail bad. Don't wonder why anymore when other countries are surpassing our children in education and technology.
Resident January 03, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Shouldn't a paycheck be based on results not what the other guy makes. I believe Irene Cornish was overpaid for her results. I believe Stratford student's educational experience suffered under her watch. Just look at the state scores.
Theresa January 03, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Superintendents should be paid based on performance. Education Week (in conjunction with ) ranked Connecticut schools 15th in the country in a state-by-state evaluation of performance and policy. Sounds good? Not when we fall behind Texas, Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and Pennsylvania. We received a C+. The entire US received a K-12 Achievement:grade of C- (69.7) and a college readiness grade of D. It's embarrassing and proves that money doesn't solve every problem. We have some low achievers in positions of authority.
Michael January 03, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Irene deserves the low pay in my opinion. She has been the worse superintendent for our school system.
CHOICES CONSEQUENCES January 16, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Over the past ten years, Irene Cornish and Margaret Lasek spent considerable time blaming teachers for the district's poor performance instead of demonstrating their skills as instructional leaders. Of course, in all fairness, how could they demonstrate skills that they do not have. Blaming teachers is the strategy administrators use to minimize their accountability and justify their existence. The Board of Education members should hang their heads in shame for allowing the damage that has been done to our school district.


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