School Supers Draw Big Bucks, Bigger Perks

Turnaround experts find profitable niche in failing school districts
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2008 11:52 AM CDT
Critics of the rise of the "rock star" superindent argue that it's a stop-gap measure that doesn't prioritize children's education.    (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Teachers aren't living in luxury, but some school superintendents are, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Some are pulling in $325,000 a year, plus multi-million-dollar consulting budgets to restructure impoverished, underperforming public school systems. The Monitor calls them "central office rock stars," a product of the No Child Left Behind initiative and sky-high pressures to balance budgets and politics.

In 1990, school boards typically received 250 applications for a superintendent job; now, 40 is considered a windfall. And because there's so much dirty work involved, urban superintendents have an 18-month shelf life. But many believe the trend doesn't prioritize students' educational needs, and that failing schools are simply "looking for a person on a white horse," one critic said. (Read more education stories.)