New bill would create salary cap for Mississippi Superintendent of Education

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi has the highest paid Superintendent of Education in the nation, and one legislator is trying to change that through a bill.

A study by Education Week recently reported Mississippi’s Superintendent of Education makes $133,000 more than the average salary of superintendents across the nation.

After learning of the difference, Republican Representative Becky Currie started writing a new bill.

Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright makes $300,000 a year. Florida’s superintendent is the second highest paid at $276,000. Louisiana comes in third place at $275,000. However, Mississippi is not a leader K-12 education.

“New Mexico moved to 50th in the nation. We’re now 49th. But if you could move us on up to you know 19th, then you should get a bonus. But we shouldn’t be paying the highest amount in the country when we’re 49th in the nation,” Currie said.

According to Currie, Wright’s salary stems from an old legislative formula that required the state superintendent be paid 90% of the IHL commissioner’s salary, “Every time the IHL commissioner got a raise, then so did the State Superintendent of Education. In 2011 we did get rid of that formula, and gave that responsibility to the board of education.”

Currie’s bill will be presented in the 2018 legislative session. It would put a $250,000 cap on the next superintendent’s salary, with the possibility of a bonus if there is improvement.

“Dr. Wright has done a good job and she’s moving us in the right direction. But in the financial state that we’re in in Mississippi, we just need to look at everything,” Currie said.

The 2018 legislative session starts January 2nd.

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