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and a $24,750 annuity an annual lump sum payment into her retirement account.
"There's a diminishing pool of people wanting superintendent jobs mostly because of the nature of the job and the things that go with it, particularly politically so district boards are often really focused today more on incentives to retain superintendents," said Jon Bales, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.
contracts reveal incentives for Wisconsin's school superintendents
the added pressure and politics for a relatively meager pay increase, Bales said.
Contract details including salary, retirement benefits, vacation and sick allowances, health insurance and auto allowances were compiled into a database to allow comparison among districts. The searchable database is available online with this story, along with copies of each contract.
Special Report: Superintendent perks
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SPECIAL SECTION: MORE FROM THE WHAT WE PAY SERIES
Wisconsin imposes no limits on superintendent compensation, so administrators are free to negotiate for whatever pay and benefits school boards will grant. Everest Area School District in Marathon County, runs the state's 26th largest district by enrollment, but her benefits package is nearly unparalleled among the 2013 14 contracts reviewed by Gannett Wisconsin Media. The contracts obtained through public records requests include the state's 10 largest districts and districts of all sizes throughout central and eastern Wisconsin.
In a four part series beginning today, the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team examines the salaries and benefits of public school district administrators in the state.
Retiring administrators can no longer return to work elsewhere, as a new state law targeting so called double dipping prohibits public employees retiring after July 2013 from drawing a pension if they return to work full time. And lower level school administrators remain reluctant to take on Maroon Adidas Tracksuit
To gauge salaries and benefits of public school superintendents in Wisconsin, the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team used the Public Records Law to obtain contracts for about one fourth of the state's 425 school administrators, examining 110 contracts in all.
"I think there's probably more jobs that are open on an annual basis than has been the case the last three to five years," said Henry Gmitro, president of executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates in Rosewood, Ill., which conducts school administrator searches nationwide. "It is a tight market, and it has gotten tighter for a number of reasons. But I don't think Wisconsin is unique in that regard. It's happening all over the country."
The group included the 12 regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies and 98 school district administrators, including those from the state's 10 largest districts and districts of all sizes throughout central and eastern Wisconsin.
crossfire, sandwiched between students and teachers, parents and school boards, taxpayers and state mandates. Even though salaries typically exceed $100,000, it's a job not many want.
DATABASE: VIEW AND COMPARE SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS
In addition to her $150,000 salary and standard retirement contributions, Gilmore receives a $600 monthly car allowance Crew Neck Adidas Sweatshirt
Those who take the job and keep it are in high demand, able to command an array of benefits and other enticements. A Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team review of nearly 100 school administrator contracts around the state revealed perks including five figure annuities, promised payouts of $60,000 or more at retirement, car allowances of at least $500 per month and bonuses of $10,000 or more for meeting performance goals, staying with the district or simply moving into the district.
The scrutiny can be intense. Administrators in Sheboygan Falls drew nationwide scorn this month after two basketball players were suspended for flashing what administrators wrongly believed were gang signs in a photo, a suspension that was later reversed. And Wausau Superintendent Kathleen Williams drew fire last fall after the district sought to limit religious music in school performances.
This school year, 78 of the state's 425 school districts nearly one in five had a new superintendent, Bales said. Ten to 15 administrators have retired annually in recent years, and that number is steadily increasing.
"It's Nike Vapormax White Gold very difficult to attract people to the job because of the complexity of it and the pressures that go with it, and quite frankly the restriction of pay," Bales said. The medians in Appleton, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison range from $697,000 to $736,000.
More jobs also are opening as baby boomer superintendents reach retirement. District administrators in Wisconsin last year averaged 53 years old, two years short of early retirement eligibility, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.
School superintendents in Wisconsin must have a district administration license from DPI, though they can obtain a temporary license for up to two years after taking a new position. The license requires three years of teaching experience. DPI data from 2012 13 show nearly half of administrators had a master's degree, while the rest had either a doctorate or a six year specialist's degree.
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