MCPP releases ‘Fat Cat Report’ highlighting public sector salaries

Published 3:40 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2021

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi has some of the highest paid public officials in America, despite being the poorest state, according to a new report issued by the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

MCPP’s Fat Cat Report offers a summary of the top 50 highest paid public officials in the state along with further data analysis.

The report reveals:

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Dozens of public officials in Mississippi are paid more than the State Governor ($122,160 per year), who does not rank in the top 50 highest paid officials.

Mississippi’s State Superintendent for Public Education earns $300,000 per year, making her one of the highest paid State Superintendents in America.

Almost half the highest paid public officials listed are education bureaucrats.

B-rated Corinth School Board District paid their Superintendent $210,000 to run a school board with a mere 2,700 students.   (2019 Median household income in Corinth County was $38,460). Contrast that to A-rated Long Beach School District, who only paid their Superintendent half that amount ($115,000) with 3,161 enrolled.

F-rated Holmes School District Superintendent was paid $170,000, yet the district is consistently F-rated and had a mere 3,094 students enrolled.  Median per capita income in Holmes county is about $17,000 – a tenth of the amount paid to the Holmes District superintendent. Tupelo Public School District paid their Superintendent $209,000 to run a school board with less than 7,000 students

For comparison, superintendent pay within Pearl River County for the 2018 and 2019 school year shows: Picayune School District’s superintendent made $105,648 in a district with 3,489 enrolled students; Pearl River County School District’s superintendent made  $114,500 in a district with 3,270 enrolled students and Poplarville’s superintendent made $133,100 in a district with 1,839 enrolled students.

, while Desoto paid their Superintendent less to run one nearly five times the size – and with a better ranking.

Capping all School District Superintendent pay below what the Governor earns would produce taxpayer savings of $2 million a year, enough to pay for 50 additional teachers.

Some of the highest paid School Superintendents are from School Districts with some of the lowest student numbers and worst academic standards.

Proximity to the taxpayer seems to offer some safeguard against soaring salaries.