Public education advocates regularly criticize the Legislature for what they perceive as limited resources, tight budgets, and low salaries within the education system. But that narrative often doesn’t quite align with the facts. Case in point: sky-high superintendent pay.

As the Foundation has noted in the past, superintendents in Texas frequently bring home six-figure salaries and rich benefit packages that can include subsidized housing, car and cell phone allowances, retirement annuities, health care, severance pay, future employment opportunities and more. Now we can add one more to the list: longevity bonuses.

Per the Dallas Morning News, Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone is paid tens of thousands of dollars to simply remain employed with the district.

Here’s more from the article:

“Stone received 5% of her base salary in 2018 and 2019. If she stays until July 1, she will receive 10% of her $323,840 base salary. And in each year after that through 2023, she’ll receive 15% of her salary if she remains in the district.”

Some claim that these bonuses are needed to incentivize more qualified applicants in a high-turnover job market. However, these perks come at the expense of taxpayers and deprive teachers of the resources needed to educate our children. Also, these bonuses are not paid on the basis of merit and are awarded irrespective of the school district’s academic performance.

We must ensure that taxpayer money is spent responsibly and with the students’ best interest in mind. Supersized superintendent pay packages should not be allowed to siphon huge sums of public money away from the classroom. It is time to invest in the future leaders of Texas—rather than the big bosses.