OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Public school superintendents are often in charge of larger budgets, but earn about $40,000 less than administrators at the state's 28 career-technology centers, records show.
The average public schools superintendent earns $75,000 annually in salary and benefits, while CareerTech superintendents earn an average of $118,000.
A public school superintendent's average base pay is about $70,000, compared with $98,000 for CareerTech superintendents, The Daily Oklahoman reported in Sunday's editions.
CareerTech pay is set by the local boards, a practice the state board is examining.
``We're in the middle of some serious budget concerns, and education as a whole is suffering,'' said state CareerTech board member Michelle Stephens of Weatherford. ``We don't control what the local boards want to pay their superintendents, but I think we need to let the taxpayers know about this.''
Meridian Tech superintendent Fred Shultz's pay is the highest of all CareerTech superintendents statewide, including those at CareerTechs in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas.
As administrator at the Stillwater school, Shultz makes $193,000, which is nearly $90,000 more than the superintendent of Stillwater Public Schools.
The Stillwater superintendent earns $102,700 and oversees a $26 million budget, while the Meridian Tech superintendent oversees a $13 million budget.
Shultz's pay also exceeds that of superintendents for both Oklahoma City and Tulsa public schools, the two largest districts in the state.
CareerTech administrators say its unfair to compare their salaries to those of public school superintendents. Technology superintendents say they deal with numerous school boards, in some cases handle more than one campus and serve not only high school students but also adults.
In addition to a base salary, CareerTech superintendents receive considerable compensation from a category called ``other benefits.''
Shultz receives the most in that category, another $47,800 in addition to his base pay of $129,150, according to fiscal 2002 data.
Others receiving comparable benefits include Kay Martin, superintendent of the Francis Tuttle CareerTech, who receives an additional $45,000, and Tulsa Career-Tech Superintendent Gene Callahan, who receives $40,000.
According to Shultz's contract, he receives $20,800 annually ``for miscellaneous expenses associated with the office and duties of superintendent.''
Shultz earns another $14,000 in an ``enhanced performance stipend,'' and the district pays $12,894 in retirement benefits.
Shultz said his compensation reflects industry standards and his 30 years of experience.
The state board has begun to look into the overall CareerTech funding. In response, superintendents have gone to the state Legislature with a bill to abolish the nine-member board and replace it with seven members who are related to industry and business. The bill passed through the House and now is in the Senate.
``They're trying to get rid of us, because we asked too many questions,'' Stephens said.