Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 15, 2013

School board votes down pay increase for itself

Management employees will get pay hike and bonus

by Glenn Wohltmann

At a Pleasanton School Board meeting that gave raises to the district's top two employees and increases in step-and-column pay for management, board members battled over whether to vote themselves a $20-per month increase in their own pay.

Board members make $400 a month before taxes. They'll continue to make that after a split vote that pitted board members Valerie Arkin and Jamie Hintzke against Board President Jeff Bowser and members Chris Grant and Joan Laursen.

"It's a very, very, very small amount. There has not been an increase in compensation in over 10 years," Arkin said. "We are giving increases to teachers, classified staff and management. I consider this my full-time job and I spend a lot of time with it."

"We're talking about $1,200 for a whole year for all five of us," Hintzke said.

The two were outvoted by Laursen, Bowser and Grant, who opposed the pay bump.

"I will vote for an increase when we restore all the reductions and when we restore class-size reductions," Grant said.

Laursen said she'd prefer the money be allocated for board development, and Bowser said it wasn't the right time to increase board pay.

"I don't feel comfortable taking more dollars," Bowser said, adding that a future increase might be appropriate.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi and Deputy Superintendent Luz Cazares will each get a 0.74% pay increase, and step-and-column pay for management and confidential employees will go up the same amount.

That's in addition to a one-time bonus of 1% of each management employee's salary.

The management agreement is slightly less than agreements made with the teachers union and the school employees union. Employees will receive a 1.1% pay increase and a 1% one-time bonus, although most of the pay increase will go toward a district-wide shift to the state's health insurance plan, CalPERS.

The board also looked at a tentative plan for spending $3 million in one-time state money to help pay for implementing a new learning system known as Common Core State Standards, and got an overview of how CCSS is being integrated into teaching.

The plan calls for spending $1 million for teacher training, $820,000 for a voluntary staff development day, $521,500 for grants to schools, $358,500 for instructional materials and $300,000 for technology upgrades.

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