One in four NYSTRS educators earned six figures in 2018-19

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More than 25 percent of public school teachers and administrators in school districts outside New York City were paid more than $100,000 as of 2018-19, according to salary data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

Public educator pay data are based on information reported to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, which covers all educational professionals employed outside New York City. The union contracts that drive educational pay levels are also posted at SeeThroughNY.net.

The highest paid NYSTRS member in 2018-19 was Michael Ring, former superintendent of the Rocky Point Union Free school district, whose total pay came to $547,050. Rounding out the list of highest paid educators were Louis Celenza at $514,934, Patricia Kane at $504,714, Toni Kaleita at $503,891 and Octavia Diaz at $499,744. All four were staffers at Central Islip Union Free Schools.

Out of the 59,241 NYSTRS system members earning six-figure pay last year, 87 percent were employed in downstate suburban districts, including 11,802 in Westchester and Putnam countie, and 31,865 on Long Island. Educators paid $100,000 or more made up more than half the total NYSTRS members in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.

In upstate New York districts—those in the 50 counties north of the mid-Hudson—teachers and educators earning $100,000 or more comprised 4 percent of the total public school staff in the NYSTRS system.

The statewide percentage of NYSTRS members earning six-figure pay has almost doubled in the last 10 years, although employment has decreased 4 percent, from 382,545 to 365,440, the latest data show.

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.