Fresno Unified’s Hanson second-highest paid K-12 educator in California last year

Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson
Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson was the second highest paid K-12 public school educator in California last year, according to data released Tuesday from the state Controller’s Office.

Hanson took home $424,617, which included an extra $24,000 in other pay and a $100,000 lump-sum payment that was part of a 2013 settlement with the district. Hanson had publicly forgone $240,000 in pay between 2008 and 2013, but reached a settlement to recoup $200,000 as part of a contract renegotiation.

The controller’s office defines other pay to include overtime, car allowances, meeting stipends, incentive pay and bonus pay.

His regular salary was $300,617, comparable to superintendents from school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego counties who also were among the highest paid. Hanson’s retirement and health costs totaled $36,274.

Hanson said he had asked that his 2013 settlement not come to him in one big chunk, and added that in future years his compensation is unlikely to place him among the top 10.

“Without my $100,000 for past work, I’m 15th overall and I think that will be reflected going forward and people should be mindful of that,” he said Tuesday night.

John Deasy, the former superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, topped the list, earning $442,801 last year. Long Beach Unified Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser placed third earning $364,492 in total wages.

Hanson, in December, received a positive performance evaluation from the Fresno Unified School District board, which voted to extend his contract to 2019.

There was no raise attached to the evaluation, but Hanson was eligible for an annual increase based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

At that time, his salary was $297,000, part of a compensation package worth more than $430,000 including his health and retirement benefits package.

BoNhia Lee: 559-441-6495, @bonhialee

California’s highest-paid superintendents

Pay totals for 2014



Total Wages

Retirement/Health costs


Los Angeles Unified

$ 442,801

$ 42,833


Fresno Unified

$ 424,617

$ 36,274


Long Beach Unified

$ 364,492

$ 45,493


Bonita Unified

$ 354,946

$ 19,545


San Marcos Unified

$ 317,856

$ 38,817


San Diego County Office of Education

$ 311,677

$ 35,073


Fremont Unified

$ 302,400

$ 30,517


Corona-Norco Unified

$ 301,597

$ 44,230


Los Alamitos Unified

$ 298,533

$ 34,856


Tustin Unified

$ 297,089

$ 77,530

Source: California State Controller’s Office