Letter: Superintendent’s Pay Raise is Unwarranted

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Superintendent Viloria’s contract amendment along with, in my opinion, a generous 8.1 percent raise, is yet another action by our School Board that further puts into question their strength and abilities to govern effectively, independently and most importantly, transparently. Viloria’s contract three years ago had a starting salary of $240,000. This third amendment to the previously contracted compensation package projects a base of $300,000, an increase of 25 percent by 2021, excluding benefits and 25 days vacation. Not bad considering this is his first superintendent gig. LBUFA and CSEA only received a 4 percent negotiated raise this year, along with two other top administrators. His salary package will exceed our city manager, with 10+ years’ experience and a larger budget. How did that happen?

From public records requests in February 2019, Wolff questioned Viloria on the necessity of the site principals attending all of the board meetings. Viloria responded indicating an expectation in our district because “we pay our principals 25-20 percent more than other districts” and, “it is interesting as the executive team, asst. superintendents and myself are underpaid by county average.” Is that acceptable? Are these the legal and ethical obligations Wolff was referring to in her LTE? How does this chain of actions demonstrate integrity of the board? Perhaps Normandin’s comments in the June 25 meeting, “Superintendent is paid less than the top 150 in the state,” supports the 8.1 percent raise amidst a projected 3-4 percent cost of living and steady interest rates. Our district is four schools and less than 3,000 kids. Salaries are based on performance and maybe district size? Not optics. Our district is currently involved in multiple lawsuits. (None of which are directed at Perry, despite the board’s public accusations). The honors grade bump denial was in part due to an administration and board oversight, now corrected. Our AP students participation numbers and passing rates were rising before the controversial calendar change. The new High School bell schedule is not community friendly in my opinion. Actions were taken by the board with new bylaws and policies that create ambiguity and secrecy. Livestreaming is on hiatus for over two months. Principal attendance is being questioned. Is this the improved communications the board rewarded? Does this show the integrity and ethical obligations of the board? Wolff states that the board has a professional duty to take steps to protect the district. Based on the state of things mentioned above, I ask, from who?

Sheri Morgan, Laguna Beach

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