By Adam Andrzejewski
CHART: TOP 10 HIGHEST PAID EDUCATORS
AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT (2021)
OpenTheBooks.com analyzed the 2021 payroll for the Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas, provided through a Texas sunshine request to the Texas Education Agency.
So, just who is making all of this money?
Meet the Austin Independent School District’s $100,000 Club— the employees making more than six-figures last year. The club is comprised of 236 employees who made $100,000 or more.
The top paid was Pablo Cruz, the superintendent, who earned $346,613 in 2021, despite leaving the district in calendar year 2020. New superintendent Stephanie Elizalde made $345,938, but then she left the district in May 2022.
For comparison, nearby superintendents also earned a lot of money: Steve Flores of Round Rock ISD ($361,007); Paul Andrew Norton of Lake Travis ISD superintendent ($354,610); Bruce Gearing of Leander ISD ($332,993); Fred Brent of Georgetown ISD ($271,204); and Michael Cardona of San Marcos Consolidated ISD ($237,708).
In the Austin schools, there were eight administrators that made $200,000 last year. On that list were two business managers who made between $281,000 and $288,000 each; and five assistant superintendents who made between $194,000 and $267,000.
(The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Michael Cardona made $203,500 in 2021, a cabinet level position.)
The Austin school’s human resources/director of personnel made $266,842 last year. For comparison, the director of U.S. Personnel Management made less than $200,000 last year – managing payroll for roughly 1.4 million federal workers across the executive agencies.
The top 129 most highly compensated Austin district employees were administrators, assistant superintendents, directors, principals, and assistant principals – not teachers.
The top-paid teacher in the Austin schools ranked 130th on the payroll list – Veronica Rodriguez who earned $110,219 last year. The next highest paid teacher was Carol Nelson who made $99,369 and ranked 244th highest paid. We found only three teachers in the top 300 highest paid employees in the district – that threshold salary was $94,617).
Austin ISD is ranked in the top 30 percent of schools across the state, 320 of 1,201 districts. Student scores mirror state averages with 52% proficiency in math; 51% proficiency in reading; and an 93% graduation rate. There are roughly 80,000 students in the district and 11,000 employee payroll.
All compensation figures were produced from the Texas Education Agency subject to our open records request.
Review the entire Austin Independent School District payroll from 2017 through 2021 on our website at OpenTheBooks.com.
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