SAN RAMON (KPIX 5) — The San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday night voted to give the district superintendent and other top administrators a raise, even as the district looks to make roughly $8 million in cuts.
According to the school district officials, this is something they have done routinely in the past, applying the same salary increase negotiated for the teachers to top administrators. However, parents argue this is not just another regular school year amid budget shortfalls exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic..
“Our district is saying OK, face cutbacks for teachers, more kids in classrooms and fewer teachers on our campuses, but we’re going to give a golden parachute to our outgoing administrators?” asked parent Nancy Datz. “It makes absolutely no sense to me.”
School board members for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District said they received roughly 300 emails from parents sharing their concerns about the salary increases. But the board voted unanimously to give the superintendent and other top administrators a 2.56 percent raise.
“When people are losing their jobs, people are furloughed, kids aren’t in school. The economy is going to pot, and we’re voting on getting a raise tonight?” asked parent Andrea Vomund.
Board members in the Zoom meeting Tuesday night argued that administrators deserve the raises just as much as teachers.
“In the effort of fairness, it’s fair to apply the increases to all employees,” said board member Rachel Hurd.
But many parents are saying in this case, no way, especially not when the district’s superintendent is now scheduled to make more than $350,000, one of the highest salaries for a superintendent in the Bay Area.
“The feedback I got from district administrators was, ‘We feel like we need to pay our people to live here.’ That’s fine, but we’re not Chevron. They’re public employees,” said Datz.
The salary increase will be retroactive to July 1st, 2019. The current superintendent Rick Schmitt has announced his retirement for next month.