For Immediate Release
August 12, 2015
California Policy Center
Contact: Robert Fellner
Data: No correlation between teacher compensation and academic performance
TUSTIN — K-12 employee compensation data released today by Transparent California shows there is no meaningful correlation between teacher compensation and student performance; when the compensation of all district employees is compared to performance, there is a negative correlation.
A geographically-diverse survey of 75 of the largest school districts statewide – accounting for nearly half of total statewide enrollment – found average teacher compensation that ranged from $81,000 to $120,000, with no correlation to district performance:
The Academic Performance Index (API) ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000, with 800 being the targeted goal for all schools. The comparison relies on 2013 scores, the most recent data available.
The average full-time teacher compensation was $94,796 and the average API score was 795. Compensation is defined as wages plus the employer-cost of health and retirement benefits.
The average total employee cost per enrolled student was $6,946 and was negativelycorrelated against the district’s API scores.
Over 740,000 employee compensation records from 555 K-12 school districts – representing nearly 80 percent of total enrollment statewide – was obtained by and published on TransparentCalifornia.com, a public service website that provides accurate, comprehensive and easily searchable information on the compensation of public employees in California.
Statewide, the Chaffey Joint Union High School’s average compensation package for full-time teachers topped the list at $119,942, while receiving only a 777 API score in 2013. San Ramon Valley Unified earned a 923 API score in 2013, the highest of all schools surveyed, with average teacher compensation and total employee cost per student both below average at $88,638 and $6,763, respectively.
The top 3 highest earners statewide were:
- John Deasy, Emeritus Superintendent of Schools at Los Angeles Unified received $485,634 in compensation.
- John Collins, Superintendent at Poway Unified received $478,008 in compensation.
- Michael Hanson, Superintendent at Fresno Unified received $460,890 in compensation.
Greater LA Area
The greater Los Angeles area includes schools in the counties of: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside.
The average greater Los Angeles area K-12 employee received a compensation package worth $88,581 with over 56,000 employees making more than $100,000.
Chaffey Joint and Anaheim Union High both received below-target API scores of 777 in 2013, despite leading the state in average teacher compensation of $119,942 and $115,437, respectively.
The average compensation for full-time teachers at 10 of the largest school districts in the greater Los Angeles area is displayed below:
Greater San Diego Area
For the greater San Diego area, the average K-12 employee received a compensation package worth $85,584 with over 10,000 employees making more than $100,000.
The top 3 highest earners in the greater San Diego area after John Collins were:
- Kevin Holt, Superintendent at San Marcos Unified received $356,672 in compensation.
- Randolph Eugene Ward, Superintendent at San Diego County Office of Education received $347,430 in compensation.
- Cynthia Marten, Superintendent at San Diego Unified received $316,255 in compensation.
The average compensation for full-time teachers at 10 of the largest school districts in San Diego County is displayed below:
Central Coast Area
The Central Coast area includes schools in the counties of: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura.
The average Central Coast K-12 employee received a compensation package worth $85,522 with nearly 5,000 employees making over $100,000.
Lucia Mar Unified’s average teacher compensation was just over $81,000, but their 816 API score was considerably higher than Hueneme Elementary’s 734 score, despite Hueneme spending over 30% more on teacher compensation.
The top 3 Central Coast earners were:
- David Cash, Superintendent of Santa Barbara Unified received $306,111.
- Marvin Biasotti, Superintendent of Carmel Unified received $301,935.
- Tammy Murphy, Superintendent of Montecito Union Elementary received $301,239.
The average compensation for full-time teachers at 10 of the largest Central Coast school districts is displayed below:
For the Bay Area, the average K-12 employee received a compensation package worth $87,295 with over 16,000 employees making more than $100,000.
The top 3 highest Bay Area earners were:
- Polly Bove, Superintendent at Fremont Union High received $363,736 in compensation.
- Elizabeth Mcmanus, Deputy Superintendent at San Mateo Union High received $349,292 in compensation.
- Bruce Harter, Superintendent of Schools at West Contra Costa Unified received $337,973 in compensation.
The average compensation for full-time teachers at 10 of the largest school districts in the Bay Area is displayed below:
Greater Sacramento and Central Valley area
For the greater Sacramento and Central Valley area, the average K-12 employee received a compensation package worth $84,012 with over 15,000 employees making more than $100,000.
Michael Hanson’s $460,000 compensation package was over $125,000 more than the next 3 top highest earners for the Greater Sacramento and Central Valley area:
- Steven Ladd, Superintendent at Elk Grove Unified received $331,855 in compensation.
- David Gordon, Superintendent at Sacramento County Office of Education received $315,423 in compensation.
- Steven Martinez, Superintendent at Twin Rivers Unified received $314,742.
The average compensation for full-time teachers at 10 of the largest school districts in the Greater Sacramento and Central Valley area is displayed below:
To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.
“The lack of meaningful correlation between average teacher compensation and school performance, as measured by the district’s 2013 API score, is stunning” said Mark Bucher, president of the California Policy Center. “It does show, however, that simply increasing funding is not an effective way to improve performance.”
Bucher added that, “The doubling of employer contributions towards CalSTRS in the coming years will pose a significant challenge to schools already paying nearly $95,000 a year on average teacher compensation. The data also suggests that this increase in employee compensation is unlikely to improve educational outcomes.”
Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project of two nonpartisan, free-market think tanks, the California Policy Center and Nevada Policy Research Institute. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.