Utah public schools superintendent Jay B. Taggart's $80,000 annual salary ranks 20th in a listing of 56 state and territorial school leaders.

Taggart's salary puts him ahead of 30 other state education leaders in the ranking and behind 19. No salary figure was reported by several states and the District of Columbia, which noted they were in transition and had acting superintendents at the time of the report.The report was published in Education Week, a nationally distributed newspaper published by the U.S. Department of Education.

The New York education commissioner has the highest salary at $131,250, the report said. At the bottom is American Samoa at $40,500. Among the continental states, Montana is low at $41,681, followed by Oregon at $49,520.

Education chiefs in four states besides New York have salaries topping or at $100,000. They are in Kentucky ($125,000); Virginia ($104,653); Ohio ($101,000); and Illinois ($100,000.)

Taggart's salary is second highest in the Mountain West states, behind Colorado at $86,739. Others are Idaho $62,500; Wyoming $52,500; New Mexico $70,000; Arizona $50,000; and Nevada $70,140.

In the range of $75,000 to $85,000 with Taggart are superintendents in Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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(Chart)

From top to bottom

The four highest:

1. New York $131,250

2. Kentucky 125,000

3. Virginia 104,653

4. Ohio 101,000

20. Utah 80,000

The four lowest:

53. North Dakota 50,304

54. Oregon 49,520

55. Montana 41,681

56. Samoa 40,500