The Kentucky Board of Education has unanimously approved a four-year contract and a  $260,000 annual salary for Kentucky’s new commissioner of education, Jason Glass.

“I’m really excited to welcome Dr. Glass home to Kentucky,” KBE chair Lu Young said.

Young said the board considered salaries and contracts of past commissioners, “and also looked as salary comparisons to superintendents of the largest districts in Kentucky, as well as chief state school officers in other states.”

Kentucky’s education commissioner is one of the highest paid state school chiefs in the nation, according to reporting by Education Week. Reporting from 2017 shows the average salary for a state’s highest education official was $174,000. As of 2017, the highest-paid state school officer was Mississippi’s State Superintendent Carey Wright, who earned $300,000 a year.

Glass won’t be making as much as Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) superintendent Marty Pollio, who makes $276,000 a year.

According to the Courier Journal, former Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis’ salary was $200,000 a year.

Glass, a Kentucky native, has served as Iowa’s education chief, and as superintendent of two Colorado school districts.  His contract is set to begin no later than Sept. 14.

Here are a few other benefits listed in the contract:

  • $15,000 + interest annually from an agency restricted trust account. This would only be payable after the first two years of service, and then after the second two.
  • Reimbursement for “reasonable expenses”
  • $500 a month in an automobile allowance, or reimbursement for mileage incurred for official business
  • Up to $15,000 in relocation expenses
  • $1,500 in living expenses six months, or until Glass sells his home in Colorado, whichever happens first.
  • Vacation and health benefits
Jess Clark is WFPL's Education and Learning Reporter.