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.