As of Monday, June 15, 2015
MABTON – Students in a Mabton High School AP statistics class used data analysis to determine that school superintendent salaries in the state should be regulated like teacher salaries to help fix the state’s budget crisis.
The students used 2014 salary information available at data.spokesman.com to compare the salaries of superintendents, who are paid with taxpayer money, across the state.
“One thing we noticed was the wide range of salaries from $5,500 (Benge School District) to $269,999 (Seattle School District),” said Mabton High teacher Larry Russell.
“We also discovered gender bias. In this case we discovered women on average make $130,000 while men only make $120,000.”
The students put together presentations and proposed regulating salaries based on number of employees supervised and time on the job. They noted that teacher salaries have ranges depending on advanced degrees and years on the job, and suggested a similar grid for superintendent pay.
One group decided that no superintendent should be paid more than $160,000, which is about what the governor of the state is paid. About 50 of the state’s superintendents currently are paid more than that.
The students also proposed minimum salaries for superintendents. The students said they also believed salary grids would also eliminate gender bias in salaries.
Russell said the student proposals would cut 5 to 10 percent of the budget as far as superintendent salaries are concerned.
The presentations, which were recorded, will be sent to the state governor’s office to be considered during the budget process.
“We hope the inflated salaries can be addressed by Gov. Inslee as he tackles the education budget issues of our state,” said Russell.