When it comes to the salaries and associated perks for the heads of schools around the state, the average cost to communities to retain their superintendents is in the triple digits.
According to the analysis by the New Haven Register, the Register-Citizen of Torrington and the Middletown Press, the average pay for a superintendent in Connecticut_ is about $166,000 a year, with 27 making more than $200,000 per year and that they can significantly boost that pay with other negotiated perks and benefits, including compensation for unused sick time, meal allowances, travel pay and bonuses.
In Windsor Locks, Superintendent of Schools Wayne Sweeney is expected to earn $159,650 in salary for the 2012-13 school year, according to his contract and this story from June 2012. This puts him below the state average pay for a school leader, according to the database. At that level of pay it costs Windsor Locks slightly more than $86.50 per student for the superintendent's base salary.
In June 2012, when the school board agreed to extend the superintendent's contract and increase his salary by 3 percent, board members lauded Sweeney’s leadership in helping develop curriculum, providing more time for teachers to evaluate data on students, an extended school day and year in 2012-13 and gaining the respect of stakeholders in the school system. Members also remarked positively his approach to the budget and his presence at school and community events.
“I can’t make enough positive comments,” School Board Chairwoman Patricia King said at the June 2012 meeting. “Everything through his visionary leadership and his participation in the storm emergency services.”
In addition to his salary, Sweeey also receives a $750 in reimbursement for out-of-pocket professional development expenses and reimburse the "reasonable" costs incurred by Sweeney for him to attend one national superindent conference a year, reasonably priced national conference, according to his contract. In July 2012, the school board also agreed to extend the amount of vacation time allotted by one week to 30 days "in recognition of her performance evaluation," according to meeting minutes.
As is common with many of the superintendents' contracts, Sweeney is allotted a specific amount of sick time - 20 per year - that can be rolled over each year; he cannot accumulate more than 215 sick days during his tenure in the position.
Some school superintendents earn more than $200,000 annually and get tens of thousands more each year in perks, the newspapers found. Westport's Elliot Landon takes home the most pay, at $285,077 ($49.93 per student), followed by Wilton superintendent Gary Richards at $267,587 ($61.12 per student) and Fairfield superintendent David Title at $264,500 ($26.57 per student).
The highest ratios of superintendent pay to students in the district fall in the smaller districts, topped by Eastford's Linda Loretz, who will earn $672.48 per student ($124,409).
Regional Editor Megan Bard contributed to this report.