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Thursday July 2nd, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 6:28am PDT   •  

CADOE_logo_200As Loretta Kalb of the Sacramento Bee reports, Deborah Bettencourt, superintendent of the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, will receive a pay increase of $24,269 as of July 2. The increase of 7.5 percent boosts the superintendent’s pay from $221,500 to $245,769. Bettencourt’s salary is far beyond that of California’s governor ($173,000), the attorney general ($151,000), and the state treasurer, ($139,000).

Board president Teresa Stanley told Kalb, “I think Debbie has done an amazing job,” but the increase was not tied to any measurable increase in student achievement. Bettencourt does not teach and, strictly speaking, is not an educator. She was hired in 1997 as the district’s chief business officer and became superintendent in 2010. As it happens, her raise was not isolated.

On July 1, a $20,000 raise kicks in for Steven Martinez, superintendent of the troubled Twin Rivers Unified School District in the Sacramento area. The 8.3 percent hike boosts Martinez’s pay to $260,000, also far beyond the salaries of the governor, attorney general and treasurer. As the Sacramento Bee noted, the new deal also “raises his district-funded payment into a retirement account from $7,500 to $15,000 annually, with gradual increases up to $21,000 in 2017-18.” And Martinez will be exempt from a new regulation that forbids “car allowances and other perks to count toward pensions if they are rolled into a salary.” Martinez’s sweetheart deal converts a $10,000 car allowance into pay. Board member Linda Fowler said “offering him an increase is really a strong investment in stability and progress,” but cited no progress in students’ academic achievement on his watch.

According to the California State University system, as of fall 2014, a full 43 percent of regularly admitted freshmen needed remedial education. That represents an obvious failure in the K-12 system, yet the money keeps coming, trickling down through layers of bureaucratic sediment. This should not come as a surprise. The state recently renamed part of the education code for John Mockler, a lobbyist and bureaucrat who got rich working both sides of the table.

Government monopoly education works well for bureaucrats but it’s a bust for parents, students and taxpayers. They need full choice in education, as a matter of basic civil rights.

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July 2015