by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Education Week collected state superintendent salaries for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson’s salary of $127,561 was a bit on the low side – 36th in the nation. It is also far below the national average of $174,000 a year. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, elected superintendents like Johnson tend to make less than those appointed by a governor or state board. That is because state legislators usually set the salaries of elected officials.
Mississipi pays the most. Carey Wright, who was hired by the state board of education in 2013, makes $300,000 per year. Arizona pays the least. Diane Douglas, who was elected in 2014, makes $85,000 per year. In the Southeast, the state superintendents of Georgia and South Carolina are the only ones that earn less than Mark Johnson.
Benefits, bonuses, and deferred compensation are not included.