Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jonathan Raymond hired a local charter schools leader as his interim chief of staff at a higher pay rate than appears in the position's salary schedule.
Former St. HOPE Public Schools Superintendent Ed Manansala has been filling in since Jan. 7 for Koua Franz, who is on maternity leave, said district spokesman Gabe Ross.
Manansala is on a five-month contract for $69,900, which comes out to a daily rate of $696, Ross said. The salary schedule for the chief of staff position lists the daily rate as being between $489 and $613. Ross said Manansala is being paid a higher daily rate because the district receives a savings from not contributing to pension, Social Security or unemployment costs for the temporary position.
The district is paying Manansala the maximum permitted under the salary schedule, Ross said. The position does not qualify for paid health benefits for daily rate or full-time employees.
Chief of staff is a cabinet-level position that helps manage Raymond's day-to-day business and generally is the superintendent's right hand administratively, Ross said.
The interim post is expected to last five months.
Sacramento City Teachers Association President Scott Smith said Manansala's hiring has sparked concerns among teachers about the district having a charter school agenda. Smith said the hire is particularly concerning since the district is closing 11 schools, some of which could become sites for charter schools.
"It's hard to believe it's not connected," Smith said. "You are closing schools and hire someone really big in the charter school movement? Doesn't that seem odd?"
Ross said there is absolutely no connection.
"There is no ulterior motive. He is here to fill in for Koua for a short amount of time so that the work she does continues," Ross said. "Ed's role here has nothing to do with his previous work."
Manansala was principal at Sacramento Charter High from 2004 to 2009. Sacramento Charter High is operated by the nonprofit St. HOPE Public Schools, which was founded by Mayor Kevin Johnson. Manansala went on to be named superintendent of St. HOPE in 2009 and then director of strategic partnerships in 2011.
Manansala said he resigned from St. HOPE at the end of December to transition into his interim role with the city school district.
Before St. HOPE, Manansala worked for Sacramento City Unified as a coordinator of learning support services.
"This is a nice opportunity to provide a level of support to Sacramento City Unified for this short period of time," Manansala said. "Then, I will explore what my possibilities will be afterward."
Ross said Manansala's reputation made him a good fit for the interim post.
"Ed has been in education a long time," Ross said. "He's been in our schools and understands our community. He brings a lot of value for the short time he is here."