While some might complain about Superintendent Del Burns' new salary, it's actually comparable with those paid in school districts of a similar size.
As noted in today's article, the school board raised Burns' salary by 4 percent to $273,000. His total annual compensation is $312,790.
Burns' new salary is higher than the $260,000 paid to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Peter Gorman. But Gorman could still earn more because he also gets $35,000 a year for retirement and can earn a performance bonus of up to $26,000.
Burns' salary is also higher than the $269,000 paid to San Diego (CA) Superintendent Terry Grier and the $243,799 to Montgomery County (MD) Superintendent Jerry Weast. Wake should overtake both districts in enrollment this year.
It's possible that Weast and Grier make more money than Burns when you throw in total compensation, not just salary. For instance, Grier got a total package last year of $372,193 when he ran the smaller Guilford County school system.
It's not cheap paying a superintendent when you get to a district that's as large as Wake County. According to the American Association of School Administrators, the average salary in 2006-07 for a superintendent in a district of 25,000 or more students was $204,766. Wake has more than 136,000 students.
In Prince George's County (MD), which is a few thousand students smaller than Wake, Superintendent John Deasy has salary of $273,000. The Washington Post estimates his annual compensation package is $424,000.
In Philadelphia, which has about 30,000 more students than Wake, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman is paid a base salary of $325,000. Her total compensation package with benefits is $494,000.
But in New York City, which has the largest school district in the nation with 1.1 million students, Chancellor Joel Klein is paid a salary of $250,000.