House OKs bill to change future ed chiefs' salary

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — A bill headed to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour would change the salary structure for future state superintendents of education.

Current law sets the superintendent’s pay at 90 percent of the commissioner of higher education’s salary. The College Board sets the commissioner’s pay.

A bill winning House approval Friday would erase that link and require the state Board of Education to set the superintendent’s pay after the current superintendent, Tom Burnham, retires.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds is paid $341,250 and Burnham is paid $307,000.

Lawmakers say Mississippi’s higher education commissioner had the ninth-highest salary in the nation, and the state superintendent’s salary is the second-highest.