RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

Bee file, 2013. First-grader Robert Olvera and his classmates raise their hands during a math lesson at Elk Grove's Raymond Case Elementary.

Raises on tap for some Elk Grove school officials

Published: Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 - 7:05 am

A proposed reorganization of Elk Grove Unified's administrative ranks will mean big raises for some top employees if school board members vote to approve it Wednesday afternoon.

Eight administrators stand to see their annual salaries jump by $3,000 to $21,000. The raises come with new job titles and added responsibility, according to Superintendent Steven Ladd.

The reorganization would better allow the district to address safety and security concerns, implement a mental health program, build leadership capacity and prepare the district to teach new curriculum standards, Ladd said Monday.

It would also help Elk Grove Unified keep experienced and knowledgable managers, he said. "We want to retain folks that we have in positions, so they don't move on," Ladd said. "We've already had three administrators leave in May and June to take different positions outside the district."

The proposal is being billed as a cost savings because the district will save $181,000 by not filling two vacant jobs, reducing the salary for the police chief position and eliminating one police car.

That amount includes $24,500 in savings for the elimination of fees associated with changes to the discipline policy.

The issue prompted "passionate" debate at a June 18 meeting where the reorganization was discussed, said board member Steve Ly.

The first-year board member said he hasn't decided how he will vote but expressed concern that specific employees are being targeted for raises instead of raises being given across the board.

"I'd be the first to say that every individual mentioned gives 120 percent," Ly said of the administrators on the pay raise list. "I've seen them work into the wee hours to make sure the schools are safe or to make sure the media gets information."

But teachers and other employees also have taken on additional responsibilities in recent years, he said. "I'm mindful that these people are being overlooked. We are disregarding the work that the frontline staff is doing."

Ly said he would like to see library techs and bilingual techs rehired.

Ladd said he believes that most, if not all, of the teachers who received layoff notices for next school year have had them revoked, but he added that not all the programs and positions cut over years of budget cuts have been restored.

"Have we put everything back?" Ladd said. "Of course not."

But it is the right time to give the pay raises, he asserts, saying Elk Grove Unified spends less on administration than comparable districts in the region.

Elk Grove Unified isn't the only district that has recently reorganized its district office.

Last year, Natomas Unified voted to increase the pay of a number of administrators during a restructuring move that added positions and eliminated others. The district also changed the salary structure to reflect the prevailing wage in area districts. The total cost of the administrative raises was $123,710.

Elk Grove Unified's biggest raise would go to Elizabeth Graswich, its director of communications. Graswich would become the director of public engagement, communications and district projects and would be see a salary jump of $21,451 to $111,625.

Chief of Police and Safety Tom Jenkins would be promoted to the new position of associate superintendent of student support. His salary would go up $19,510 to $153,664.

Rick Ewing, currently the assistant chief of police and safety, would become the interim chief of police and safety with a $5,603 salary bump to $107,774. Jenkins, the current chief, earns $134,154. The position of assistant chief of police and safety would be eliminated.

Sharon Stenroos would earn $107,714 in her new position as director of budget, up $17,540, from $90,174 as manager of budget.

The salary of Kevin Schaefer, currently the lead program specialist, would be bumped up by $10,044 to $111,022. His old position would be eliminated and his title changed to director of special education.

Michael Allen and Jill Gayaldo would both jump from $96,843, to $107,778 – a $10,935 increase. Allen remains the director of maintenance, operations and grounds, and Gayaldo remains the director of transportation.

An administrative assistant would be promoted to senior administrative assistant, and see an increase of about $3,000 annually.

The reorganization includes a new position of fiscal compliance specialist which would be filled by Tim Williams, who would earn $63,197. The vacant position of director of fiscal compliance, which had a $113,713 salary, has been eliminated.

The reorganization also eliminates a vacant administrative assistant position with a $40,922 salary, as well as the position of assistant police chief at $102,171. It adds an associate superintendent of student support for $153,664.

ELK GROVE UNIFIEDSPECIAL MEETING

Elk Grove Unified trustees will meet to consider an administration reorganization and adoption of the 2013-14 budget.

When: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Robert L. Trigg Education Center, 9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road

Call: (916) 686-7700

Call The Bee's Diana Lambert, (916) 321-1090. Follow her on Twitter @dianalambert. Read her Report Card blog at http://blogs.sacbee.com/report-card/.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Diana Lambert



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