Superintendents may be likened to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, said Lawrence Picus, vice dean for faculty affairs and a professor at the USC Rossier School of Education. But superintendents, Picus added, are charged with something more important than simply raising money: They help shape the minds of children.
As such, their duties are more essential than the chief of, say, Citibank, he said.
“Superintendents,” Picus said, “are horrendously underpaid” compared to those charged with running the same-sized organization in the private sector, adding that “beating them up over salaries seems unfair.”
Compounding the problem is that California has slashed the amount of per-student funding to an average of $8,908 in the 2010-11 school year, compared with $11,764 for the rest of the nation, according to the California Budget Project.
“California dramatically underinvests in schools,” Picus said.