The superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools may be well compensated—but not when compared to Michigan school districts of a similar size.
According to a new database compiled by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and using 2012 salary and benefit information provided by school districts throughout the state, the total compensation for DPS Superintendent Brian Whiston is $218,355.
This includes a base salary of $170,000, plus a $36,678 annual pension contribution, $1,177 insurance and $10,500 annuity. He also receives 18 sick days and 28 vacation days per year.
Michigan superintendents earn an average salary of $115,000 and average compensation package of $155,000, according to the database.
"While compensation for superintendents only amounts to about 1 percent of public school spending, the public should have easy access to this particular information,” said Michael Van Beek, Mackinac's director of education policy, in a press release. “As CEOs of districts and often the highest paid government employee in a local community, superintendent pay deserves an extra level of public scrutiny."
But in Dearborn, the numbers also tell a different story: Whiston is the least compensated leader of a school district of Dearborn's size in the state of Michigan.
Dearborn is the fifth largest school district in the state in terms of enrollment—with more than 19,000 students as of its October count day. It trails behind Detroit, Utica, Plymouth-Canton and Grand Rapids.
But when looking at superintendent compensation, Dearborn clocks in at No. 48 on a list of 606 school districts, with 36 districts excluded from the report.
In Wayne County, Dearborn is fourth on the list—coming in nearly $20,000 below Grosse Pointe Public Schools, which has an enrollment of less than 9,000 students.
Of the state’s 10 districts with more than 15,000 students enrolled, Whiston’s compensation package comes in dead last.
The report shows that compensation for the superintendent of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools—with close to 19,000 students—comes in at $41,847 in benefits. However, the district does not currently have a full-time superintendent. Acting Superintendent Jeremy Hughes, who lives in Dearborn, also earns $700 per day, or up to about $182,000 for a full year, according to Plymouth-Canton Patch.
Detroit Public Schools were not included in the report.
See the full database at http://www.mackinac.org/depts/epi/salary.aspx.