New NC superintendent, other Council of State members to make $127K a year

Posted January 9
Updated January 10

State Superintendent Mark Johnson

— North Carolina's newly elected state superintendent and eight other Council of State members will each make $127,561 this year, as required by law.

State lawmakers raised their salaries 1.5 percent as of July 1 as part of the short session's budget bill. Those positions previously made $125,676 a year.

The governor is the only member of the Council of State with a higher salary – $144,399 a year.

Council of State members include:

  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • State Treasurer
  • State Auditor
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Agriculture Commissioner
  • Insurance Commissioner
  • Labor Commissioner

Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson's pay differs from the 115 local public school superintendents in the state.

His salary is set by lawmakers, while local superintendents' pay comes from two sources – a state portion, which is based on the number of students in the district, and a local portion, which is set by the local school board and varies greatly by district.

WRAL News reported on the perks some local superintendents received in their contracts in 2013, including cars, gym memberships, money for mortgage payments, extra vacation time and thousands of dollars in bonuses.

Johnson does not have a contract since he is elected, but he does get to use a state-owned car and cellphone, according to Vanessa Jeter, communications director for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.


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  • Teddy Fowler Jan 10, 2017
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    Yes... not even remotely over paid.... pretty low if you ask me....

  • Thom Stark Jan 10, 2017
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    Government pay at the Federal level is comparable, not at the State. But in government you never get fired and you have a pension. In the private sector maybe only 10% get a pension any more.

    I figured out 26 years ago the only person I should be working for is myself. The 1st years were tough, but mid to long term it was the best decision I made.

  • Kyle Clarkson Jan 10, 2017
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    I can't disagree enough. State government pay is horrid. An equivalent executive to these cabinent positions in the private sector would make 300-400k.
    I doubled my pay (45k to 90k as an IT analyst ) when I went from state government to private sector.
    Oh yeah, the benefits "used" to be good. State employees have to pay towards health insurance, no raises, etc.

  • Anna Temple Jan 10, 2017
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    Government work is very nice work if you can get it. It not only has great benefits but it now pays very well in most cases compared to comparable private sector work. Don't let the word small business fool you when it comes to payscale and benefits, they are not what you may hope.

  • Mike Brody Jan 10, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The raises were voted on July 1st of last year. How did these newly elected officials and appointees have anything to do with these raises? It's not like they gave themselves these raises when they took their oath of office. It was already in place.

  • Lee Bennett Jan 10, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    Good lord. Have you been paying attention at all? Only THREE of them are Democrats; the other six are Republicans.

  • Craig Elliott Jan 9, 2017
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    What's a "raise"?

  • Buster Brown Jan 9, 2017
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    And imagine this--they are all Democrats. A bit on the excessive side one could say.

  • Rudy Bizzell Jan 9, 2017
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    Ripping off the taxpayers.