He’s king for a day … well, more like six months.
Chris King will earn $1,071 a day while serving as the Santa Monica-Malibu school district’s interim co-superintendent for the rest of the calendar year, according to the contract he signed last week.
King’s daily pay is based on an annual salary of $240,000, slightly above the $239,200 that Sandra Lyon was making as the local school district’s top administrator. Lyon started July 1 in her new job as superintendent of the Palm Springs Unified School District.
King and the district’s other interim co-superintendent, Sylvia Rousseau, will spearhead SMMUSD as the district continues its search for Lyon’s long-term successor. The two education leaders will serve concurrently, but they won’t necessarily be on the job or at meetings at the same time.
The district’s contract with Rousseau will be formally approved at the Board of Education meeting July 20, officials said.
King, a former superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, recently worked as interim superintendent for the Anaheim City School District and as a high school principal in Ramona, California.
King’s stint in Boulder was not without controversy. A wrestling coach on a team trip was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female student, who served as a team manager. The coach was later convicted and sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.
King came under fire for not revealing to authorities sooner that he had given a hotel room key to the coach because he no longer needed the room. He said at the time that he had no knowledge of the crime and that he was shocked by the incident, according to media reports.
He said his decision to leave the Boulder district had nothing to do with the incident.
“I feel honored to be able to serve in Santa Monica and Malibu, and I am excited about continuing the tradition of excellence here,” King said in an introductory press release. “The people I have met are amazing, and I can’t wait to get started.”
SMMUSD will give King a housing allowance of $2,000 per month, according to his contract, which was reviewed by the Daily Press. He will also receive $900 per month for personal transportation and cellphone service. King and his dependents will not receive health insurance from the district.
He will receive pay on school holidays but will not be offered any paid vacation days. He is entitled to one sick day per month and two paid days of bereavement in the event of a death of a family member, according to his contract.
The district will pay for expenses related to King’s involvement with professional organizations like the American Association of School Administrators and the Association of California School Administrators.
The board can evaluate King’s performance at times that are “mutually determined” by the interim co-superintendent and the board.
While serving as acting chief of the district, King will be responsible for managing the district and leading all administrative staff for instruction, personnel, business and operations. He will also be authorized to recommend potential new employees to the board for approval.
King is asked to work with the board, district employees and stakeholders on “clear criteria for determining effective achievement and evaluating outcomes,” according to the agreement. The contract also mentions maintaining “effective relationships with the media,” among other public relations duties.