During the 2011-12 school year, Hamilton School District Administrator Kathleen Cooke made $163,531, compensation comparable to her counterparts in area school districts, according to salary information released on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's website.
Cooke made slightly more than Phil Ertl, the Wauwatosa school District Superintendent, who earned $157,440 last year. Ertl, however, received a 4 percent raise in October, bringing his salary to $163,738.
In the Elmbrook School District, District Administrator Matthew Gibson, who retired in June, made $158,368 for the 2011-2012 school year.
One difference among the school district are their size. Hamilton has 4,652 students while Elmbrook had a projected total enrollment this year of 6,455 students, comparable in size but slightly smaller than Wauwatosa’s 7,133.
To find a larger district with a lower-paid administrator, one need look no farther than the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, reporting enrollment of 9,281. There, Superintendent Kurt Wachholz last year made $148,020, well below his counterparts in smaller but more affluent communities.
The database tool also lets you look at other administrative positions for comparison. This database will allow you to search administrative salaries only in the 424 public districts statewide.
School districts across the state saw a larger than usual cut in staffing in the 2011-12 school year than in year's past, according to a press release from the DPI, with 2,312 positions being eliminated and 60 percent of those spots being teacher jobs.
"The 2011-13 state budget made historically high cuts to education funding," the press release said. "General school aids were cut by $749 million and the per pupil revenue limit was reduced by $1.6 billion from prior law. These large reductions accelerated the budget and staffing cuts many districts have been making over the years."