SMMUSD HDQTRS — Forty-seven employees of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District earn more than $100,000 per year — nearly all of them central office administrators or campus principals, according to a review of salaries by the Daily Press.
Superintendent Tim Cuneo has the top annual salary, at $214,000 (not including benefits), followed by Chief Academic Officer Sally Chou, who makes $153,000 a year. Rounding out the top five are Fiscal Services Director Pat Ho ($149,000), Chief Financial Officer Jan Maez ($145,000) and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Debra Washington ($141,000).
The next two highest-paid employees in the district are Hugo Pedroza, Santa Monica High School’s principal, who earns $136,000, and Malibu High Principal Mark Kelly, who makes $129,000.
The school district provided the salary information this week in response to an information request filed by the Santa Monica Daily Press under the California Public Records Act. All of the salaries reflected a 2.7 percent reduction that resulted from the five furlough days the school board approved earlier this year. (Top administrators took an equivalent pay cut but didn’t take the days off, Cuneo said).
The disclosure, which included the names of all 47 employees, did not show any outsize salaries or other irregularities.
The list included one classroom teacher, Malibu High School’s Anna Deshautelle, a Special Education Department chair who is paid $103,000 a year.
Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association President Harry Keiley — whose name was not on the list — estimated the average teacher salary in the district is $66,000.
Any teacher who makes more than $100,000 a year, he said, likely has been in the district for more than 20 years and has additional responsibilities that require teaching time beyond the regular 10-month school year calendar.
He said there was nothing unusual about the number of employees earning more than $100,000 in the district.
“It’s not something that is a significant concern for us. The district has been very prudent with the limited resources they have,” he said.
School Board President Barry Snell said the SMMUSD’s salaries are in-line with those paid by neighboring districts with similar demographics.
“We don’t have individuals that are making exceptional amounts of money. We’ve really taken a look at our [salary] schedule and cut back as much as we can,” he said, adding that the district has reduced the number of administrative personnel over the past several years.
According to Cuneo, the number of central office employees has been cut from 25 during the 2006-2007 school year to 15 this year. The number of school site administrators, which generally tracks closely with student enrollment, was down from about 34 in 2006-2007 to 31 this year, he said.