Today's featured video: Supersized salaries, perks for Austin-area school chiefs, from KXAN-TV

Man with bag of cash

Austin-area school superintendents are raking in the big bucks while their school systems are having their budget slashed and are considering layoffs -- and the perks the school chiefs get on top of their pay are pretty sweet, too. 

That's the subject of today's featured video on the Texas Watchdog homepage. It's a piece from investigative reporter Nanci Wilson of KXAN-TV. 

She tells us that one school superintendent, Nola Wellman of the Eanes school district (which we've written about before), makes $70,000 worth of perks over her six-figure salary, including reimbursement for her retirement contributions, money kicked into an annuity, $10,000 for expenses that don't have to be reported, a $5,000 annual bonus and life insurance premiums.

And the school superintendents already make a pretty good living without the perks, Wilson says:

The base salary for Austin ISD superintendent, Meria Carstarphan makes $283,412 per year. Her district has more than 80,000 students.

Round Rock ISD superintendent has more than 40,000 students, and its superintendent's base salary is $252,875. Eanes ISD has about 7,500 students and its superintendent's base salary is $231,063.

If you do the math, it works out to this amount of base pay per year per student:

  • Austin ISD: $3.54
  • Round Rock ISD: $6.32
  • Eanes ISD: $30.80

Whew. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier is paid about $300,000 a year, and his district has about 200,000 students. That's about 66 cents per kid. If he were paid at the same rate as the Eanes superintendent, he'd be making $6.2 million a year. 

Superintendents enjoy super benefits:

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Clip art: Public domain.