News

SRVUSD board to consider raises for executive cabinet, management

Also: District looks at plan for $8M in cost reductions needed for 2020-21

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to give retiring Superintendent Rick Schmitt, his executive cabinet and management staff 2.56% retroactive pay raises for this school year on Tuesday -- in line with the salary increases that the district's unionized employees received.

Later in the meeting, the board will discuss a plan for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year, including employment reductions, as required by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, which raised concerns about the ability for the district to pay for negotiated salary increases after this year.

SRVUSD logo.

The district has a longstanding policy of extending the same salary and benefits increases across the board for all district employees. Labor negotiations typically occur during the school year for potential raises that year, resulting in the changes being applied retroactively.

In light of the raises negotiated by the teacher and classified employee unions, the district's executive cabinet, as well as the management and confidential employees, are recommended to receive a 2.56% salary increase for 2019-20 retroactive to July 1, 2019. The total cost of the increases (salary and benefits) for those two categories of employees are $41,100 and $461,476, respectively.

For Schmitt, who is retiring June 30, that means his base salary for his final year would be retroactively raised to $357,832.

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For the rest of Schmitt's executive cabinet, their new 2019-20 salaries would be $261,593 for deputy superintendent of educational services Toni Taylor (who retired midyear), $262,186 for assistant superintendent of facilities and operations Gary Black (who is retiring June 30), $237,810 for assistant superintendent of human resources Keith Rogenski, $226,486 for chief business officer Greg Medici and $226,486 for assistant superintendent of educational services Christine Huajardo (who succeed Taylor, in a restructured position, midyear).

The board will also consider confirming the contract for Daniel Hillman to become assistant superintendent of business operations and facilities effective July 1, with an annual base salary of $226,486.

Staff said Hillman's promotion to succeed Black in a restructured position will actually save the district about $290,000 per year because Black had more seniority and Hillman's prior position of executive director of business services is being eliminated.

Budget reductions will be a key part of the conversation as well Tuesday night, as the board will review staff's recommendation for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year after the county raised concerns about future structural deficits in the SRVUSD budget in light of costs from the salary bumps for unionized employees.

"CCCOE has serious concerns regarding the financial condition of the district, due to the additional ongoing costs proposed by the settlement agreements and the district's projection of negative multi-year ending balance, being further compounded by developing economic events," Medici wrote in a staff report to the board.

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By issuing a conditional approval of the salary settlement disclosures, the county required SRVUSD to develop a budget reduction plan on or before adoption of the 2020-21 district budget.

The plan recommended to the board includes reducing certified employees by 34 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, eliminating 10 FTE classified employee positions, decreasing district business office expenditures, and reducing spending by the cabinet and individual school sites -- to the tune of $8 million combined.

Later, Medici will lead a board discussion on Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised budget proposal, which includes reductions in K-12 spending because of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

Board members will also consider approving a resolution in support of the "Schools and Communities First" initiative on the statewide ballot in November.

They will receive an update on another potential statewide ballot measure -- a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal California's ban on affirmative action -- that still needs to pass out of the State Legislature before heading to voters.

The board will also discuss revising its internal bylaws to align with the current SRVUSD election practice that all board members are elected by trustee-area rather than at-large.

As part of the 10-item consent agenda, the board will consider accepting the resignation of Pine Valley Middle School principal Jason Law -- listed among a variety of resignations, retirements and other personnel changes.

The board's open-session meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday (May 26), will be held online only via Zoom in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shelter-in-place guidelines.

Board members will begin their meeting day with a special reception, virtually, to recognize new district retirees from 4:30-5 p.m. on the SRVUSD YouTube channel.

They will then adjourn into closed session from 5-7 p.m. to talk about appointing a new principal for Bella Vista Elementary School in San Ramon, two pending legal cases, labor negotiations with the three employee unions, and consultation, review and recommendations for the district's coronavirus response.

For instructions on how to view the open meeting or submit a public comment to be considered for open or closed session, visit the agenda webpage.

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SRVUSD board to consider raises for executive cabinet, management

Also: District looks at plan for $8M in cost reductions needed for 2020-21

by /

Uploaded: Mon, May 25, 2020, 8:24 pm

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to give retiring Superintendent Rick Schmitt, his executive cabinet and management staff 2.56% retroactive pay raises for this school year on Tuesday -- in line with the salary increases that the district's unionized employees received.

Later in the meeting, the board will discuss a plan for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year, including employment reductions, as required by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, which raised concerns about the ability for the district to pay for negotiated salary increases after this year.

The district has a longstanding policy of extending the same salary and benefits increases across the board for all district employees. Labor negotiations typically occur during the school year for potential raises that year, resulting in the changes being applied retroactively.

In light of the raises negotiated by the teacher and classified employee unions, the district's executive cabinet, as well as the management and confidential employees, are recommended to receive a 2.56% salary increase for 2019-20 retroactive to July 1, 2019. The total cost of the increases (salary and benefits) for those two categories of employees are $41,100 and $461,476, respectively.

For Schmitt, who is retiring June 30, that means his base salary for his final year would be retroactively raised to $357,832.

For the rest of Schmitt's executive cabinet, their new 2019-20 salaries would be $261,593 for deputy superintendent of educational services Toni Taylor (who retired midyear), $262,186 for assistant superintendent of facilities and operations Gary Black (who is retiring June 30), $237,810 for assistant superintendent of human resources Keith Rogenski, $226,486 for chief business officer Greg Medici and $226,486 for assistant superintendent of educational services Christine Huajardo (who succeed Taylor, in a restructured position, midyear).

The board will also consider confirming the contract for Daniel Hillman to become assistant superintendent of business operations and facilities effective July 1, with an annual base salary of $226,486.

Staff said Hillman's promotion to succeed Black in a restructured position will actually save the district about $290,000 per year because Black had more seniority and Hillman's prior position of executive director of business services is being eliminated.

Budget reductions will be a key part of the conversation as well Tuesday night, as the board will review staff's recommendation for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year after the county raised concerns about future structural deficits in the SRVUSD budget in light of costs from the salary bumps for unionized employees.

"CCCOE has serious concerns regarding the financial condition of the district, due to the additional ongoing costs proposed by the settlement agreements and the district's projection of negative multi-year ending balance, being further compounded by developing economic events," Medici wrote in a staff report to the board.

By issuing a conditional approval of the salary settlement disclosures, the county required SRVUSD to develop a budget reduction plan on or before adoption of the 2020-21 district budget.

The plan recommended to the board includes reducing certified employees by 34 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, eliminating 10 FTE classified employee positions, decreasing district business office expenditures, and reducing spending by the cabinet and individual school sites -- to the tune of $8 million combined.

Later, Medici will lead a board discussion on Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised budget proposal, which includes reductions in K-12 spending because of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

Board members will also consider approving a resolution in support of the "Schools and Communities First" initiative on the statewide ballot in November.

They will receive an update on another potential statewide ballot measure -- a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal California's ban on affirmative action -- that still needs to pass out of the State Legislature before heading to voters.

The board will also discuss revising its internal bylaws to align with the current SRVUSD election practice that all board members are elected by trustee-area rather than at-large.

As part of the 10-item consent agenda, the board will consider accepting the resignation of Pine Valley Middle School principal Jason Law -- listed among a variety of resignations, retirements and other personnel changes.

The board's open-session meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday (May 26), will be held online only via Zoom in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shelter-in-place guidelines.

Board members will begin their meeting day with a special reception, virtually, to recognize new district retirees from 4:30-5 p.m. on the SRVUSD YouTube channel.

They will then adjourn into closed session from 5-7 p.m. to talk about appointing a new principal for Bella Vista Elementary School in San Ramon, two pending legal cases, labor negotiations with the three employee unions, and consultation, review and recommendations for the district's coronavirus response.

For instructions on how to view the open meeting or submit a public comment to be considered for open or closed session, visit the agenda webpage.

Comments

Parent and Voter
Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 7:22 am
Parent and Voter, Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 7:22 am
47 people like this

Seriously?
The cuts in education should start at the top instead of where the real education occurs at ground zero.


San Ramon Resident
San Ramon
on May 26, 2020 at 8:15 am
San Ramon Resident, San Ramon
on May 26, 2020 at 8:15 am
18 people like this

Just look at these Executive Cabinet salaries! Are they serious? And, most are retiring and getting a retroactive salary increase - just to then get a higher retirement income. What about the students? How do these salaries line up with similar sized districts in the state? I'd sure like to see a comparison - including benefits as that sets this district apart from similar sized districts. When are we going to find out the salary of the newly selected School Superintendent? No wonder he wants to move to California!


Ruth Turner
Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 10:24 am
Ruth Turner, Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 10:24 am
6 people like this

Are you kidding!


Kim Green
San Ramon
on May 26, 2020 at 10:43 am
Kim Green, San Ramon
on May 26, 2020 at 10:43 am
13 people like this

There is no way to justify these increases. The only increase that should be happening should be going to teachers and funding programs at schools. If anyone votes in favor of this, you should be removed immediately


Mark
Alamo
on May 26, 2020 at 10:46 am
Mark, Alamo
on May 26, 2020 at 10:46 am
10 people like this

Appalling! Our community and parents need to fight this somehow? Is there anything we can do? They have the nerve to waste that kind of money on overpaid, retiring executives?!


Kim
Blackhawk
on May 26, 2020 at 10:55 am
Kim, Blackhawk
on May 26, 2020 at 10:55 am
7 people like this

Email the school board members today before their meeting, if you oppose!
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]


MO
Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 11:04 am
MO, Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 11:04 am
7 people like this

Yes, there is something we can do to protest. Follow instructions provided in the last paragraph of this report, to view the open meetings TODAY & to submit a public comment. This nonsense has gone on far too long, so we need to voice dissent loudly & clearly.


Parent
Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 11:43 am
Parent, Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 11:43 am
28 people like this

A child died under the care of this school district and another student was abused to the tune of $625,000 dollars. Yet the SRVUSD school board demanded no accountability of the administration or the grossly negligent PE teacher Arron Becker.
We have a school board with not a single kid enrolled in the district they are just warming the seats with no accountability for their lack of oversight to an administration that is negligent in protecting our children. Don't forget this administration approves money so the board members can attended boondoggle conferences. Which is a huge conflict of interest how can a supervisor accept a gift from those he supervises.


Beth
Diablo Vista Middle School
on May 26, 2020 at 1:50 pm
Beth, Diablo Vista Middle School
on May 26, 2020 at 1:50 pm
2 people like this

This article from "Ed 100" shows the serious problem with school budget cuts. These retroactive increases should not be approved. Web Link


Outraged SRVUSD Parent
Diablo Vista Middle School
on May 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm
Outraged SRVUSD Parent, Diablo Vista Middle School
on May 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm
14 people like this

More unnecessary administrative money being spent on (unnecessary) administration positions:

Sometime in the last two years, an SRVUSD "Executive Director" position was (unnecessarily) created for Human Resources under the SRVUSD Assistant Superintendent. (Initials MJ.) THIS POSITION DID NOT EVEN EXIST BEFORE AND WAS CREATED UNNECESSARILY WITHOUT ANYONE NOTICING, with that person receiving a promotion from "Director of Human Resources", under the SRVUSD Assistant Superintendent. (How did this just slip by? It's over $200,000 a year for more unnecessary administration costs and I have no comment on her abilities in that position.)

The SRVUSD Assistant Superintendent was ALREADY DIRECTING Human Resources. Why the sudden need for an "Executive Director" of Human Resources when the numbers in the school district are reportedly going down, with INTER-district transfers being allowed (from other school districts)? This person, in their newly-created Executive Director position, which DID NOT EXIST BEFORE, was already making $213,344 in 2017, as a Director of Human Services, according to Transparent California, including total pay and benefits. Imagine what this person is making now. Plus, the position she held before as "Director of Human Resources" still exists, of course, and that NEW person hired from Dublin Unified must be making over $150,000, as she was recruited from there with a salary there of $148,249 as a Director of Human Resources and previously a principal there as well.


Paul
Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 6:21 pm
Paul, Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 6:21 pm
12 people like this

Disgusting. Vote whoever approves of this out at next election.


appalled
Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm
appalled, Danville
on May 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm
14 people like this

Yep, the executive cabinet and Schmitt certainly deserve a raise, all right.

For attempting to destroy a boy's life through a concerted effort to lie, abuse, and remove an Asian child from their elected position as an ASB president due to defaming him about a James Bond parody that the District and the union mis- characterized as a so-called Muslim discrimination video.

For covering up the drowning death of another boy in a crowded swimming pool where students were wrongfully 'punished' to tread water for even more time, supporting the teacher that is still there, while refusing to have any sort of accountability.

Shameful, shameful, shameful that these people are up for a raise when they shouldn't even have a job there still.


Frank
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 27, 2020 at 9:00 am
Frank, San Ramon Valley High School
on May 27, 2020 at 9:00 am
11 people like this

absolutely disgusting. I highly oppose raises for executive cabinet & management. their salaries are already dizzyingly high. given the COVID19 pandemic & its projected lowering effect on all tax revenues, more than ever before, we should not do this. Gavin Newsom is asking state employees like myself to consider a 10% pay cut. What about these exec's? Furthermore, I agree with the other postings...why do we award these exec's for an avoidable death a high school student during PE class under their watch?


Parent
Danville
on May 27, 2020 at 11:52 am
Parent, Danville
on May 27, 2020 at 11:52 am
14 people like this

The school board said it would not be fair to grant a raise to teachers and not give a raise to the individual contracted execs. How fair is it the Ben's parents lost their 15 year old boy? How fair is it that the same execs allowed a student to be vilified and experience death threats to the family? The SRVUSD execs have failed again and again to do the right thing yet they get lumped in as if they are busting their butts in the classroom.
To quote Schmitt "The hardest job I have ever had was not superintendent, but high school principal. Both were CEO-type jobs. But as a high school principal I was out at meetings four or five nights a week. Now I can put my feet up at the end of the day." Does not sound like Schmitt is busting his butt more like kicking back and not overseeing the district while they had a student die and another abused. Schmitt's passive role in the district is and continues to be disgusting.


Teacher
Diablo
on May 27, 2020 at 6:05 pm
Teacher, Diablo
on May 27, 2020 at 6:05 pm
9 people like this

In addition to these raises, most do not know that top administrators also get an automatic 5% raise every 3 years. It is time to stop the nonsense.


Disgusted SRVUSD parent
San Ramon
on May 28, 2020 at 9:41 am
Disgusted SRVUSD parent, San Ramon
on May 28, 2020 at 9:41 am
5 people like this

I am thoroughly disgusted by our school board and superintendent. What a sorry excuse of representing our district. Our teachers are the ones that uphold values and standards and work hard. AT the board meeting that Schmitt announced his retirement, he could be seen texting the entire time. What a lack of professionalism. To take a raise when you are retiring from a job NOT well done is a travesty and for the Board to choose a new superintendent who RETIRED from being a superintendent in Canada just shows the lack of putting children first. I say we get rid of them all and start fresh with people who truly care about students and teachers. Vote Schools and Community first and vote to get rid of 2 board members at the next election and perhaps try a vote of no confidence on the others.


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