SYOSSET - Long Island educators are the highest-paid in the state, according to an annual study released by an Albany think tank.The report by the Empire Center for New York State Policy also highlighted the top 10 highest-paid employees, all of whom are Long Island superintendents and administrators. Topping the list is Syosset School Superintendent Carole Hankin, who ranked No. 1 with a total salary for the 2010-11 school year of more than $506,000. "Long Island was at about $73,000 a year in average pay," says Tim Hoefer, of the Empire Center. Hoefer adds that the average salary for the state was about $52,000.School administrators defend the high salaries, saying that they are equal with the cost of living on the Island. In response to the study, the Syosset School District said it ranked in the bottom half of Nassau County's schools when it came to administrative salaries as a percent of budget. District officials also noted that this year, teachers agreed to a voluntary salary freeze.