School superintendent salaries: Income of Tulsa, Jenks, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Owasso district leaders

TULSA - For Sheldon Barrett picking up his six-year-old from school is a treat.

"Me and mom, we alternate. Today's my day," said Barrett.

Because everyday is about his daughter, Diana.

"This school, it's not too close to us but I mean it's a good school, and it doesn't matter what sacrifice we gotta make, even if I got to leave work early," said Barrett.

Diana goes to Elliot Elementary, a Tulsa Public School.

For Sheldon's extra effort, he wants to know his child is getting a good education, and as taxpayers, citizens want to know that too.

After all, you're paying the salaries for teachers and administrators.

A 2NEWS viewer sent the Investigators a letter asking us to look into superintendent pay, so we did.

We obtained compensation packages from the Oklahoma State Department of Education for Jenks, Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Union school districts.

We found the Jenks Superintendent, Stacey Butterfield, has a compensation package totaling $209,000.

Dr. Jarod Mendenhall of Broken Arrow has a package total of $196,000. Union's Dr. Kirt Hartzler's package comes in at $219,000.

Tulsa Public School's Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard, has the largest compensation package at $259,000.

BREAKDOWN of the compensation packages for the school superintendents mentioned above as well as Bixby, Collinsville, Owasso, Sand Springs and others (

"We took a look, when I came, at what other superintendents make in similarly sized urban districts, the level responsibility," said Ballard.

We compared salaries from our area with other cities as well.  The superintendent in Little Rock, Arkansas has a compensation package this year of $245,000.

Edmond, Oklahoma's superintendent has a compensation package of $239,000.

Oklahoma City's superintendent makes $210,000.

Dr. Ballard is in charge of one of the largest district in the state with more than 40,000 students and 7,000 employees, making it one of the largest employers in the city.

Also, he has not taken a raise in the six years he's held the position.

"I don't think I should have. I'm very satisfied with what my compensation package is," said Dr. Ballard.

Still, the Oklahoma Department of Education says it's aware of concerns about superintendent pay. Some say teachers need to be paid more, especially in comparison to administrators.

"Superintendent Barresi has recently raised the issued and has advocated those teachers salaries indeed need to be raised," said Kim Richey, General Counsel for the Oklahoma Department of Education.

Sheldon Barrett agrees. He says teachers need more, but that doesn't mean Dr. Ballard, or other superintendents, should get less.

"They need to find a way to increase the teachers' pay. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to cut the superintendent because he's got a huge job. He's got to take care of teachers. As I say, you can't take from one and give to the other. We just need to make sure that they're both taken care of," said Barrett.

If there's something you'd like us to look into, send us an e-mail at


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