A recent report released by the University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy (OEP) analyzes superintendent and teacher salaries across the state. This analysis was done based on a House Bill (HB1917) introduced to committee during the legislative session but which did not progress to vote. This bill was introduced ostensibly as a way to increase teacher salaries in the state by limiting superintendent salary to a proportional amount. The bill stated that superintendent salaries should not exceed 250% of the lowest teacher salary in the district. In this way, the proposed Superintendent salary limitation might serve to incentivize school boards to increase teacher salaries.
The OEP report undertook an analysis of superintendent’s salaries in the state and found that statewide superintendents are paid 338% of beginning teacher salaries with a range of 218% to 639% across the state – a striking range. Indeed, only 5 districts in the state would have fallen under the proposed 250% rate proposed in HB1917.
When the analysis looked at average teacher salary, as opposed to beginning teacher salary, 60% of districts met the 250% threshold. When adjusted for a superintendent’s 12 month contract compared to a teacher’s 9 month contract, the number of districts meeting the 250% threshold rises even further to 88% of districts in the state. The report also notes that none of these data account for school size or school performance.