It pays to be a superintendent

All of this discussion about the pay and benefits for Oakland’s new superintendent spurred me to find out how other top dogs in the Bay Area are compensated. With help from my reporter colleagues, I compiled the below sampling of their pay and perks.

I don’t have all of the benefit totals, and some of these folks might be in for another raise come July 1, but it’ll give you a better idea of what these people are taking home. Any guesses on the top earner?

SAN LORENZO: Superintendent Dennis Byas will earn $326,000 as of July 1, according to his contract ($259,000 base salary plus $67,000 in perks including housing allowance, health benefits, etc.).
District size: 12,000 students

SAN FRANCISCO: Superintendent Carlos Garcia earns a $293,000 salary in addition to health benefits.
District size: 55,200 students

OAKLAND: New Superintendent Tony Smith will earn $287,870 ($265,000 base salary for the next three years, plus health and other benefits). That amount does not include a potential $30,000 retirement contribution after two years and another $30,000 after three years, pending successful reviews.
District size: 46,500 students, including charters

WEST CONTRA COSTA: Superintendent Bruce Harter earns $275,000 (base salary of $225,000 plus $50,000 in housing, health care and other benefits).
District size: 30,800

PITTSBURG: Superintendent Barbara Wilson earns $243,236 total ($185,000 base salary, plus benefits).
District size: 9,600 students.

CASTRO VALLEY: New Superintendent Jim Negri will earn $232,000, plus annuity ($6,000) and health benefits. In 2011, his base salary jumps to $246,000.
District size: 8,900 students

HAYWARD: Superintendent Dale Vigil earns $227,556, plus benefits.
District size: 22,100 students

SAN LEANDRO: Superintendent Christine Lim earns $214,649 salary, plus benefits.
District size: 8,800 students

MOUNT DIABLO: Interim Superintendent Richard Nicoll earns $209,000, plus health and retirement benefits. The school board has discussed paying its permanent hire at least $220,000 to $260,000.
District size: 35,000 students
ACALANES UNION: New Superintendent John Stockton (Jim Negri’s replacement) will start with a salary of $200,000 plus benefits, including $7,800 car allowance and health coverage.
District size: 5,700 high school students

BRENTWOOD UNION: Superintendent Merrill Grant earns $161,160, plus benefits.
District size: 8,200 elementary school students

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Joe Public

    How do the salaries of the various CEO’s/superintendents for the many Charter Management Organization’s that exist in the district compare? Is that public information since they are publicly funded or do they get to “hide” this information behind the organization? Just trying to get an idea of a per cost by student break down for the top execs.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Wow, San Lorenzo’s getting ripped off. That guy’s a joke, destroying what was a good district.

  • Jane Doe

    San Lorenzo is totally getting ripped off. Why cut employee’s pay by 3%? If that moron “Dr” Byas would just give up his HOUSING allowance and his CAR allowance..that would save hundreds of thousands.. Why should someone have a car and housing allowance anyway? San Lorenzo homes are NOT that pricey and a car allowance???? What? To drive between schools? What? He’s not allowed to have a commute? AND San Lorenzo is so small, Ooooh 1.3 miles between Arroyo and SLz?? Wow, that’s far! His whole salary is STUPID.

  • From the outside looking in.

    Yes, you’re right, Dr. Byas could give away some of his perks to help offset the budget but I do want to point out that he didn’t give them to himself. Some of the smart people in this good district who hired him gave him the perks. Hmmmmm…..

  • http://none KinderTeacher

    I just received this info 8 months after it ran. The teachers in SLZ are totally aware of Byas’ obscene pay/perks schedule. He is even now, in January 2010, receiving additional monies — $10,000 —- to compensate for higher costs in his health plan. This district, as many others, are in the midst of budget negotiations, and at first look, there are NO cuts being made at the superintendent level. We have 3 superintendents-Personnel, Finance, and Byas–whose total compensation totals close to $1M dollars. I tried to remind a board member that schools are non-profit agencies, and as such should not be paying these exhorbitant salaries–she just said that is the standard. Well, the standard has to change. The SLZ school board over the last 10 years have rubber stamped salary increases for the previous 3 Supers–and two right before they retired. I worry that as soon as the other Supers in your report see these salaries, they will demand equal compensation for their services. We should also be looking at the top heavy Supers at the Alameda County Board of Education. Sheila Jordan probably tops all these Supers with a salary package totaling upwards of $300,000. Thank you.

  • Linda

    You wonder how he can sleep at night. This sounds so similar to the bank bonuses. If a superintendent really cared about the education of the children and the hard working and dedicated people in the classroom, he would give up th excess to save the children from loosing out on a superior education. I wonder what that board was thinking in giving him so much.

  • OneSLzStudent

    I would just like to point out cuts are being made to the San Lorenzo Unified district that are damaging at students scholastic experience. Since I am a high school student in this district – I will not say which one – I will point out a sample of some cuts that may be made by the 2010-11 school year. According to one teacher, ten teachers will be removed in the district and funding to many activities. Such activities include after-school athletics. Funding after-school activities, in my opinion, is very important. Allowing students to pursue an interest means that they will be less involved in trouble making. That is a small sample for next year. In the past year, some classes have been cut and teachers have to deal with it. If we use Arroyo High for example, the AP Calculus BC class was cut preventing students from extending their math education if they desire. Since class amounts have decreased and teachers are only allowed to teach so many people, students who want a class may be removed from the class. If Dr. Dennis Byas has such an outrageously high salary, less funding will go to these areas. I do realize that this does not only apply to the San Lorenzo Unified District, but also other districts. It just seems to have a larger magnitude due to superintendent salaries. For those who have read this entire comment, thank you for spending time to read this.