Pay raises were approved for members of the Pleasanton Unified School District's leadership team on Tuesday night, when the Board of Trustees signed off on a 2.5% salary increase for executive cabinet members and a 5% bump for the board's own monthly stipend.
When combined, the new pay grades will increase the annual payment to the school district's leadership by $34,335. Cabinet members' raises will take effect retroactively to July 1, while the trustees' pay bumps will begin from here on out.
"I wanted to clarify for the public that the (cost-of-living adjustment) that we received from the state was 3% and we are giving 2.5%. So we are actually below the COLA, to keep it in perspective," Trustee Jamie Yee Hintzke said Tuesday night in the PUSD boardroom.
The 2.5% increase received by the district's executive cabinet -- which will cost the district an extra $33,075 this year -- is consistent with the raises previously approved for teachers, classified employees and management.
The cabinet is comprised of Superintendent David Haglund, who is now set to earn $288,139.80 a year; deputy superintendent of business services Micaela Ochoa ($210,786.21), assistant superintendent of human resources Julio Hernandez ($201,925.04), assistant superintendent of student support services Ed Diolazo ($201,925.04) and assistant superintendent of educational services Odie Douglas ($205,963.50).
Douglas and Ochoa did not attend Tuesday's meeting, but the rest of the cabinet and all five trustees were present.
The 2.5% is consistent with the district-wide salary increases approved for classified staff and management by the board at its Dec. 11, meeting, as well as for teachers unions at its Nov. 13 meeting.
According to a county analysis presented at December's meeting, if PUSD's average daily attendance numbers align with demographer's projections, the district should be able to afford the increases at current budget levels.
While cabinet's raises were approved unanimously, those for trustees were approved slightly contested, at 4-1. The lone dissenting vote came from Trustee Steve Maher, who cast his vote somewhat reluctantly.
"I know that everyone here works way above and beyond ... I just personally have a hard time giving myself a raise at 5% when everyone else got a 2.5% raise," he said. "Certainly everyone deserves it; it's just something personally I feel."
The 5% stipend increase, which was recommended by district staff, equates to $21 per month, resulting in school board members receiving a total of $441 a month or $5,292 annually. The new stipend results in a collective total of $26,460 spent every year.
The board's previous stipend of $420 per month has been in effect since June 2017.
Earlier in the evening, trustees voted down a motion to instead give themselves a 2.5% raise to match their colleagues in the executive cabinet by a vote of 2-3 -- trustees Mark Miller and Joan Laursen represented the aye votes. The board ultimately to approve the recommended 5%.
"I would really like to see people in our community step forward and run for the board and because we get less than half of what the City Council gets ... I think it makes it a little more palatable if we increase (the stipend) these teensy amounts in the next few times," said Board President Valerie Arkin. "There hasn't been a huge amount of public interest running for the board and at some point were going to need people to step forward."
Laursen added that prior to the increase in 2017, the board had not increased its stipend in "a very long time."
Pursuant with the California Education Code, the 5% increase is the largest amount a school board may grant themselves on an annual basis.
In other business
* As part of the regular personnel document in their consent agenda Tuesday, the trustees accepted Douglas' retirement request, effective at the end of the school year June 30.
Douglas, who holds a doctorate of education, is stepping down after seven years as assistant superintendent of educational services and almost 40 years in education overall.
"I express my sincere gratitude and thanks to the District for allowing me to serve the students, parents/guardians, staff members, and community. I have learned much and have grown tremendously, both personally and professionally," Douglas said in a letter to district administrators announcing his decision Jan. 24.
Douglas said he was particularly proud of his department's efforts to implement new state education standards and local programs such as response to intervention and invention as well as multi-tiered system of support at all Pleasanton school sites.
"I am extremely honored and most fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in partnership with outstanding educators who care deeply about the academic success of all students," he added.
Haglund, in a statement to the Weekly, commended Douglas for extraordinary commitment and service to our schools, staff, students and their families."
"Over these past seven years, Dr. Douglas has played an integral role in implementing the district's mission and vision, as well as serving as a fierce advocate for our equity work. Well done, Dr. D," Haglund said. "While you will certainly be missed, we wish you good health and ample opportunities to relax as you moves into retirement."
The Educational Services Department oversees division such as elementary and secondary curriculum, testing and assessment, special projects, and library and media.
* Student enrollment and demographics was a key item of discussion during Tuesday's meeting, where trustees reviewed the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS).
An annual statewide report created from data gathered every October, CBEDS collects raw information on school districts documenting enrollment trends, staffing numbers, student ethnicity and certain instructional programs.
For example as of Jan. 14, overall student enrollment in the PUSD had increased to 14,982 students. This is an increase of 24 students since October 2018, and an increase of 136 students since October 2017, according to the report.
The largest increase from 2017 to 2018 was for elementary school enrollment, which saw an increase of 92 students enrolled.
CBEDS also includes statistics on the demographics of students enrolled in the district's public institutions. The report found that as of October 2018, students of Asian descent make up 43.8% of the population, followed by white students who make up 37.38%, and then Hispanic students who account for 9.7%.
The remaining 9.12% is comprised of students who identify as African American, Pacific Islander, mixed race or American Indian or were students who declined to state their ethnicity.
* Trustees received a report from the city of Pleasanton's City Manager Nelson Fialho and community development director Gerry Beaudin on how housing trends at the state and local level are affecting the region, and what the city can expect from future legislation.
The report revolved around the various changes in housing legislation coming from Sacramento, as state lawmakers work to solve the state's ongoing housing crisis.
"State law is really going to take away a lot of our ability to manage growth. We have a lot of influence and sway currently ... but it continues to be pulled back by the state and we believe that our ability to manage change at a reasonable pace will diminish over time," Beaudin lamented.
* A consent agenda item held over from the district's Jan. 15 meeting, trustees approved issuing a series of eight new courses and seven revised courses for high school and middle school students.
* The next board meeting will take place Tuesday Feb. 5, 6 p.m. at the Hart Middle School multipurpose room, 4433 Willow Road.
The third installment of the district's "Connecting with our Community" series, it will serve as an opportunity for Pleasanton residents to meet and learn about trustee members as well as their cabinet.