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About the Supe's Salary

"It’s lonely at the top but you eat better."

The Desert Independent

January 2, 2017

BLYTHE, Calif – The contract between the Superintendent of Schools and the collective School Board is a document meant to be publicized and, thanks to a California Public Records Act request, is now presented for the reading public. Any Superintendent's contract is usually made up of boilerplate verbiage – meaning that it may be the same as other school districts with only a few minor changes. The actual contract may be accessed at the end of this article. We will first review the highlights and what they may mean.

  • The contract has a three-year timeline, ending in June of 2019.

  • The salary shall be set at $195,000 per year in 12 monthly installments. This may seem a bit high, but the prior Superintendent had a beginning salary of $170,000 and ended at $230,000 – so it is right in the ballpark. What would be interesting is if Mr. Bush was "bought out" of the remainder of his three-year in FBUSD in return for his resignation in which case he would be receiving a double salary for his first year that would be astronomical. This is a ploy used by many Superintendents being considered for termination. Dr. Norm Guith, for example, was paid out the third year of his contract in the Orange School District to the tune of $134,000; and, when he had secured a $98,000 contract with PVUSD, crowed to the Orange County Register that he was now "the highest paid Superintendent in the country." To view the article regarding his dismissal, please click the following link:

In the same manner, Dr. Wendell Alan Jensen came to us for a $120,000 salary while still being paid $140,000 from the Elk River District (MN) folks who had had a bit much of him. His son, Jacob Jensen, attempted the same thing as Special Ed. Director, demanding and getting approval for a $78,000 payout while simultaneously obtaining a similar position in Santa Barbara. To view the article on this matter, please click the following link:

  • Fringe Benefits. Otherwise known as perquisites or "perks" that are not taxed may be part of the Supe’s income. One is the allowance of 30 sick days per year not to accrue more than 40. Use them or lose them. He is also allowed one sick day per month with fully paid medical, dental and vision insurance. He is to be allotted $500 per month in travel pay for his trips to Riverside. He will also receive $100.00 per month for business related expenses.

  • The District expects Mr. Bush to have an outside life as well. The Board will reimburse him for membership in the Association of School Administrators as well as two community service organizations.

  • Evaluation. The board will establish goals prior to Sept 30 of each school year and will evaluate and assess the Supe at least once a year. Should the Board exercise its right to terminate without cause, the Supe will receive salary and benefits for no longer than 12 months past the date of termination.

It is interesting to note that there is no "Evergreen" clause in this contract. This means that for every successful year, another is added to the term of the contract. This means that Mr. Bush would have had three years ahead of him at all times.

The Desert Independent has a CPRA request out to the current Fort Bragg Superintendent for his last contract and any agreements regarding a "buy out" prior to his resignation. It will be very enlightening to compare them side by side.

There is much more to be gleaned from this document. The public is encouraged to peruse it themselves and get familiar with the rights of the District vs. the Superintendent. To access this document, click HERE.

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