ALBANY,  NY — Close to one-fifth (18.6 percent) of all public-school teachers and administrators employed by school districts outside New York City were paid more than $100,000 last year—including most education professionals on Long Island, according to salary data posted today at, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

The public educator pay data are based on Fiscal Year 2020-21 salary information reported to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), which covers public school teachers and administrators employed outside New York City.

The union contracts that drive school employee pay levels are also posted at

Of the 62,507 NYSTRS members getting six-figure pay last year, 84 percent were employed in downstate suburban districts, including 31,887 on Long Island and 13,294 in Westchester and Rockland counties.

At school districts in upstate New York —the 50 counties north of the mid-Hudson—four percent of NYSTRS members were paid six-figure salaries.

Statewide, the percentage of NYSTRS members earning six-figure pay has almost doubled in the last 10 years.

Average pay for NYSTRS members was highest in the mid-Hudson ($92,194) and on Long Island ($92,174).  Upstate, the highest-paying regions were Western New York ($65,168) and the Capital Region ($63,125); the lowest-paying regions were the North Country ($53,930) and the Southern Tier ($56,409).

Statewide, the highest paid NYSTRS member was Joyce Brown, president of the Fashion Institute of Technology, with total pay of $504,022. The next-highest paid NYSTRS members were Charlene Murphy at $474,026, Louis Wool at $460,793, Diane Demarinis at $445,243 and Colleen Henriquez at $433,890.  All but Wool worked at Central Islip Union Free School District in Suffolk County, Long Island — a school with six of the ten highest-paid NYSTRS members on its payroll.

Region NYSTRS Average Pay
Capital $63,125
Central New York $58,569
Finger Lakes $58,303
Long Island $92,174
Mid-Hudson $92,194
Mohawk Valley $57,378
North Country $53,930
Southern Tier $56,409
Western New York $65,168

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

You may also like

Few Voices Making Big Choices for NY Taxpayers

School districts across the state last year used lower-turnout special elections to win voter approval for nearly $2 billion in construction projects and other major purchases instead of presenting them alongside their budget proposals in May, according to a new study by the Empire Center for Public Policy in Albany. Read More

NYC Fire Pensions Hit New High

New York City firefighters and fire officers retiring last year after full careers were entitled to , up 11 percent from the prior year, according to new data added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Read More

$5.5 Billion NYCERS Pension Payments Include $70 Million in Back Pay

The pension plan covering most New York city government agencies, including the City’s subway system, had 47 members with pension payments of at least $200,00 last year, 11 more than in 2021, according to Read More

NY Schools Plan To Spend Nearly $32K Per Student 

New York school districts holding budget referendums next week plan to spend an average of $31,929 per student, according to a new analysis from the Empire Center. Read More

New York City Teachers’ Retirement System Adds More $200K Retirees 

The number of retired New York City educators who received pensions over $200,000 continues to grow, reaching 117 last year. Read More

What Are We Getting For All This Money?

Plans to hike state school aid to record levels would come as school enrollment is falling, and despite past aid hikes having failed to translate into improved student outcomes Read More

New School Pensions Top $90K Downstate, Over $74K Statewide 

The latest career retirees from school districts in Westchester County and on Long Island were eligible for pensions averaging more than $90,000. Read More

State Budget Proposal Doubles Down on Reckless Spending, Empire Center Says

After Governor Hochul’s budget unveiling this afternoon, Empire Center experts offered their reactions to the latest framework. Read More