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

Average Pay Spiked at Port Authority in 2021

Average pay for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) employees increased nearly 10 percent last year, to $123,000. Read More

Over 700 MTA Employees Earned More in OT than Regular Pay in 2021, Data Show

More than 300 employees were paid at least $100,000 in overtime and at least 734 earned more in overtime than in regular pay at the MTA last year Read More

Legislative Spending Unevenly Divided Among Members

Spending by state lawmakers on office personnel and administrative costs varies widely, with some paying out nearly twice as much as others Read More

Forty-five Percent Increase in Six-Figure Pensions for Retired NYC Educators in 2021

The number of retired New York City educators who received six-figure pension payouts rose forty-five percent in 2021. Read More

New Data Maps District-by-District NY School Enrollment Change

New Yorkers can now view a district-by-district comparison of public school enrollment rates, thanks to new data mapped by the Empire Center. Read More

State OT, Salaries Up in 2021

Overtime pay for state employees rose to nearly $1 billion, and salaries increased by six percent during the 2021 calendar year, according to data posted today to Read More

Public School Retiree Pensions Set New Record

Average pension benefits for newly retired public educators outside New York City reached a record high last year Read More

Empire Center Previews State of the State: People are Leaving

Albany, NY — New York suffered a net loss of about 1.4 million residents to other states during the past decade. With those residents went businesses and jobs, perpetuating a cycle of loss for the Empire State. “The State of our Read More


Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.


Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries:

Press Inquiries:


The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!