Consultant:
Similar schools pay superintendents $158,125 a year
ShareThisWednesday, April 13, 2011 11:40 AM
By CANDY BROOKS

ThisWeek Community Newspapers
Superintendents in districts similar to Worthington earn an average annual salary of $158,125, plus such benefits as retirement pickups, annuities, car allowances and bonuses.

Those figures, plus comparative figures from the private sector, will be shared with candidates for the Worthington superintendent's position.

Ralph Johnson, of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (the organization helping the board in its search for a successor for Superintendent Melissa Conrath), presented the figures to the Worthington Board of Education during its April 11 meeting.

Conrath will retire in October. Her current salary, after five years in the district, is $153,824, plus benefits.

The district pays her share of the State Teachers Retirement System contribution, which is equal to 10 percent of her salary.

Districts are required to pay 16 percent of a superintendent's salary into STRS. The superintendent then must add 10 percent. In Worthington and in all districts in the study, the districts pay that 10 percent.

Conrath receives an annuity of 19.4 percent of her salary in lieu of having the district pay for her health insurance. Health insurance for her and her husband, if the district had provided it, would have cost about $12,000 a year, she said.

Conrath receives no car or communication allowance.

Her contract calls for a 2-percent annual merit bonus, but she and the board have agreed to forgo that bonus each year because of the financial condition of the district.

To come up with averages from districts with similar demographics, the consultants looked at districts in Hilliard, Dublin, Lakota, Westerville, Mason, Strongsville, Solon and Olentangy.

The average annuity, paid in seven of the eight similar districts, is $14,905.

Five of eight districts provide car allowances, with the average being $7,600 a year.

The average communication allowance, paid in three of eight districts, is $1,800.

Four districts pay bonuses, with the average being $4,100 a year.

Johnson also presented private-sector figures for similar jobs.

The chief executive officer of a central Ohio private company with more than 1,200 employees earns an average of $279,583, he said. The total cash compensation is $353,490.

A company with a budget of more than $100 million pays its CEO an average of $267,559, with a total cash compensation of $358,222.

Johnson cited the source of the private-sector figures as the Economic Resource Institute.

"Our superintendent should be paid in line with our salary scale of our faculty," board member Charlie Wilson said.

Board president Marc Schare said he would like to learn more about how other districts design their superintendents' merit-pay packages.

No further board discussion of the issue occurred.

cbrooks@thisweeknews.com

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