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Big Bucks for Bureaucrats

Wednesday July 15th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:21am PDT   •  

CADOE_logo_200As we recently noted, on July 1 the Twin Rivers Unified School District in the Sacramento area boosted the pay of superintendent Steven Martinez by $20,000, an 8.3 percent increase that raised his pay to $260,000. The district also double his retirement payment and allowed Martinez to convert a $10,000 car allowance into salary. As it happens, Martinez is not the only rider on the gravy train.

As Diana Lambert of the Sacramento Bee reports, Twin Rivers also boosted Deputy Superintendent Bill Maguire’s annual salary by $16,000, raising his yearly take to $239,000, a full $24,000 more than when he started 18 months ago. The district also employs, count ‘em, two associate superintendents. Sara Noguchi, Associate Superintendent for Innovation, Research and Design, a newly created position, bags a salary of $202,690, plus generous benefits. Jacqueline Perez, Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, also gets $202,690 plus generous benefits. These are the highest executive salaries in the three largest regional districts, but a superintendent, deputy superintendent, and two associate superintendents aren’t quite enough. Twin Rivers “Assistant Superintendent” Gina Lanphier bags $138,524, plus generous benefits.

No reports surfaced that the high salaries, pay increases, and newly created positions are linked to any increase in student achievement. Twin Rivers ranks 314th among California districts and rates only a C in academic achievement. Only 47 percent of students are proficient in math and 44 percent in reading. The graduation rate is 72 percent, below the national average of 81 percent.

Twin Rivers is also troubled in other ways. Last year an excessive-force case by a member of its police department cost taxpayers $225,000. But despite such misconduct and poor academic performance, the dollars keep on coming, trickling down through layers of absorbent bureaucratic sediment. That’s the way it works in government education, a bonanza for bureaucrats but a bust for students, parents, and taxpayers.

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July 2015