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Original post made
on May 30, 2014
Well I guess the mystery of why he wanted to leave his start up and move here is solved.
Somebody must have taken a course in the new math to be able to cite McGee's first year's salary without reporting how many days there are in a year:
"Superintendent shall be paid Two Hundred Ninety-five Thousand Dollars ($295,000.00) for 224 days of service. The Parties recognize that the Superintendent will not provide 224 days of service to the District in his first year of employment. Therefore, his first year's salary shall be Two Hundred Seventy Thousand Four Hundred Sixteen Dollars ($270,416.00) for 205 days of service."
Is it even possible to buy a house for $1 million in Palo Alto? Moving from Illinois, his first shock is the square footage he will have to downsize to. One million in IL buys a mansion but only about 1500sf here. His second shock will be the basic cost of living - grocery store prices, etc. I'm not even sure he will have much leftover money after the monthly mortgage.
Where is Skelly going?
I'm sure with an interest-free loan and a $275,000 salary plus fringies and a car allowance, he'll be just fine. You don't think he'll want to live in one of those new Apartmentzillas sprouting up (and up) all over the place? I heard those were "affordable"...
Sorry, couldn't help a little overdevelopment sarcasm. Actually, between a no-interest loan and a probably low-interest loan, he really will be just fine.
Just for comparison, average salary for a judge in San Jose is about $175,000
and the salary of the California governor is about $173,00.
I'm sure the judges don't get a housing allowance or a car, but the governor probably does (Brown famously turns down his salary, don't know if he lives in the governor's mansion this time or not).
This is an awful lot of money for someone who has few real responsibilities, and no clear obligations. What's more, if he stays a few years, his salary will be upwards of $350K by the time he retires again. Then the next Superintendent will be hired at $375K or so. This is just too much money for people who claim to be educators to be paid.
Would you take that thankless job for anything less? I'm only surprised he didn't demand more for working here.
What, no signing bonus? Can't give him stock options. Maybe product endorsements?
Yes, I would take this thankless job. So would a lot of people who applied. I would even forgo the $1,000,000 interest-free home loan and extra padding of $750 monthly for a car. Let's see, Leadership Associates partner Rene Townsend conducts the board retreats and Leadership Associates selects this person who didn't apply and then gets negotiated into a four-year contract at a cost of over $2.2 million. Don't forget the board paid Kevin Skelly more each year for seven years and his performance got progressively worse. More money does not equal more quality. You folks are all intelligent people, and remember that intelligent people are easier to con.
If he is willing and able to clean house at Churchill, he will deserve every penny he makes...
Hey, smoke, you also don't have any qualifications or experience. This guy's already drawing a pension. How long do you think he's going to stay? This is the best that could be found. A very small pool.
Qualifications, experience, got 'em, as do hundreds of other candidates. The winning candidate did not really have to apply. They just had to be friends with Leadership Associates. Superintendent is a tough job, but so is being a teacher or a custodian.
"Glenn "Max" McGee said he understands opposition to double dipping but insists that, in his case, others also benefited.
He retired as superintendent of the Wilmette School District and draws a $184,100 annual pension while earning $225,900 a year as president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a public boarding school emphasizing math and science. But he says he took a $40,000 pay cut when he took the new job, accepted $10,000 less than he was offered and got one raise before freezing his own salary. "The way I look at this, if I'd (continued to work) full time at Wilmette, the (academy) would be paying somebody more than me ... and I would be getting a bigger pension," said McGee, who said he "jumped at the chance to get back into state service" and lead the academy as well as a rewrite of the state educational report card."
I actually don't think any of this means anything. He froze his own salary. If he's legally entitled to do this, I don't see the problem.
I'm far more concerned about Mitchell and (legal) company setting a poisonous tone for the guy when he gets here. Will he have a spine and ethics, and realize he's a public servant on behalf of parents (who are paying is very high salary) or will he join the board in their little echo chamber? The latest volley by Mitchell would seem to be a big broom to sweep him into the echo chamber.
This is why I no longer donate to PiE. Outrageous salaries and benefits. I encourage others to do the same. Maybe then the government will realize they can't tax us to death and give it to the few always knowing the parents will just kick in the difference with a smile on their faces.
No more PIE: If you are able to contribute and don't and if you have school age children, I hope you follow your convictions and make sure your child does not participate in any of the PiE offerings. Then you can feel righteous. If you don't believe in PIE, you should follow through on that belief. PIE has nothing to do with salaries, etc. They wouldn't change even if PIE was not in existence. Either you are uninformed, or you just want an excuse to not contribute.
PiE money allows more money to pay Kevin Skelly $300,000 a year and give him a $1,000,000 interest-free home loan. That's just how it is. If PiE goes away, then that money will come out of the general fund. PiE is not about kids, it's about real estate.
Smoke and Mirrors: check your sources. PIE money does not influence what the district pays its administrators. It does influence what our kids get in terms of extras.
So, smoke, turns out that even though you claim you have the required qualifications and experience and are willing to take on this job, you don't actually know how the district is run. It's not surprising you were passed over.
You two really don't know how to move money around in a school district, though I do see how one of you was excited by the other. Now, let's return to reality. Just as majority opinion once thought PAUSD would collapse without Kevin Skelly (it collapsed because of him), PiE knows it is in real danger of the majority not buying the drivel such as PiE pays for people, or that all students benefit from PiE, or that PiE pays for extras. Those are just buzzwords and other phrases that are not about kids, but about marketing. From the district's perspective, PiE is all about the general fund for teacher raises and admin extravagance. As long as PiE can pay for part-time classified and certificated employees, the district does not have to dip into the general fund and can use it for the upcoming teacher raise, which is then matched for the principals, and even allows Charles Young to get three more years of raises, which is what just happened. Ask any district insider from any basic aid district how funds from a private foundation influence teacher and administrative pay. There is a reason that PiE had a seat on the jet to Chicago, but ELAC and the Parent Network for Students of Color did not.
The poor guy will make the same income as the Supe of the lowly Union City School District. The one million dollar loan won't even get him a down payment on any house in this town that isn't some godawful fixer-upper.
He has been left with Skelly and Young's messes. He has inherited a disaster. Knowing how far that salary he sign up for won't go, I think he is going to be working for Palo Alto peanuts.
It only seems like a lot of money and benefits to someone from a Podunk district. Wait till he gets here and faints from all the sticker shock!
@Bob - I had the same reaction when I read about the comp pkg; seems quite high for a district that has just 17 schools, 12 of which are elementary and all of which have a principal.
@Interesting - Gov. Brown lives in a his own home, not the mansion. It does seem strange that a single position at a small school district commands a higher salary than that of the governor of the entire state. Public compensation is perplexing - at best.
@parent: @Smoke and mirrors said it perfectly. If the services PiE provides are so essential, they should be provided by the school district. With the sales, property and income taxes revenue (remember Prop. 30? I'm sure you voted yes for that too), there is no excuse why parents need to pitch in additional hefty sums of money. When I tell friends and family across the country about this they're flabbergasted. I'll just let all the local realtors give donations; home prices will remain high and they'll make even more money.
A few things here. If you do not like Pie, then give the cash or check directly to your childs teacher. They will purchase items for the class rather than having to deal with the politics of asking from administration or filling out grant applications. If your not comfortable with that, then go do the schools fund raiser and bid on some items. If your just cheap or figure your property taxes got you covered, then stop crying. On another note,
I would like to know more about the terms of the interest free million dollar loan? Is a million dollars of the school budget just handed to him interest free with no other terms? You can pay it back when you leave? You need to make monthly payments of ? Be nice if every employee of the District was offered the same perc. Even a percentage of salary with the same scale would work. Why not just give him a district vehicle with PAUSD label on side like the maintenance folks use. Is it really necessary to give a $750 allowance for a vehicle used as work related? Seems like a lot of car for something work related.
@No More PiE: What PiE provides is not essential. It is extra. So if you want your kids to have art, electives, more counseling then you would consider PiE essential. There are plenty of schools that don't provide these things. Who do you think is better off? Your child in PAUSD or those children? Contributing is not mandatory. Many people give because they think these things are important for all children, not just theirs.
@hr: Funny how you say "They will purchase items for the class rather than having to deal with the politics of asking from administration or filling out grant applications", so instead of fixing the problem, you rather just throw money at it (sorry, I guess I'm not a 1%'er like you are). You then go on and complain about the outrageous package the new superintendent got. Don't you get that they're related? The more money the parents volunteer, the more money from the general fund can be used for these ridiculous packages. Next time the governor asks for yet another tax increase to fund our schools, I'm sure you'll be first in line to vote YES.
@parent: No, I don't consider art, electives and counseling essential; I do that at home with them; it's called raising your kids. I can buy a lot of crayons and paper for $800. Palo Alto students do well because they are from and surrounded by smart, well-educated, and affluent families, not because of PiE.
Is he moving from New Jersey? I thought he worked in Illinois?
I'm with those of you who think that PIE is a sham and only allows the District to be spendthrift with their money.
The field trip to Illinois, paying lawyers, are only the tip of the iceberg as far as I am concerned. PAUSD is flush with money and the surplus is being wasted on the equivalent of paperclips at the end of each school year. The school is never required to make cutbacks to supplement say the cost of language work books or PE uniforms which they now pay for. PAUSD is a money pit and the gullible are financing it.
For those concerned about taxpayer money, see the proposal for tomorrow night's board meeting to expand the budget for legal fees:
The legal fees budget is covered on this story: Web Link
@ NoMorePie: That's the whole point of PiE. It's not just about your child. I'm glad you can afford to give these things to your child. I can too. Aren't we lucky? Not every family can afford this. The whole point of PiE is to raise funds that are distributed evenly per child so that every child gets the same benefits not just our lucky children. Again, it is not mandatory and you don't need to contribute. I'm glad there are lots of parents that do, however, so that the playing field is leveled just a little bit for those that are in different circumstances.
I hope that to prove your point, if you don't contribute and you can, you pull your child out of Spectra Art, electives that are funded by PiE and minimize their counseling. Compare the number of counselors at our schools to those less well funded districts. You would be shocked.
What PIE is doing is enabling our District to waste money that could be used for education and classroom needs.
Our district "knows" that a substantial amount of funds will come in from PIE and they don't have to worry about providing things such as art, playground supervisors and counselors. They "know" that they have an extra portion of funds that they don't have to budget for. They "know" that certain costs are not their responsibility because fundraisers will do their utmost to bring in funds.
This is a luxury they have that other districts don't have. PAUSD is well funded from our high property taxes. They have a large income and then they have an annual bonus. The bonus pays for items they should be paying for but don't have to. On top of that, they also have more volunteers than other districts.
This is enabling our district to not have to be accountable for many items that they should be accountable for.
This reminds me of an overweight person being enabled to be overweight by a family member buying them doughnuts. Or an alcoholic being given beer by an enabler.
We have to stop enabling our district to be fiscally irresponsible.
@parent: No one in Palo Alto is so poor they can't afford art supplies. Just look at all the Tesla's and Porsche's in the parking lots (many of which are driven by the teachers). And most have made millions on their homes in just the last 2 years alone. Regardless, how can you possibly explain the outrageous package the new superintendent got? A salary greater than the VP of the US and almost as much as the President, a $1M interest free loan (which costs the district ~ $100k/yr in lost returns) and a $750/mo car allowance? What, he can't be seen in anything less than a BMW 7-series? How about he pays for his own car out of his salary like the rest of us do. I'm sure his pension will be just as rich. As @Paly Parent said, we enable this with PiE donations.
@hr: What a well thought out and articulated response. I have no comeback for that. Truth hurts, I guess.
"We have to stop enabling our district to be fiscally irresponsible"
That's so noble of you! Thank you! And what a happy coincidence that you also save a few bucks by not donating. And of course, your kids will still participate in PIE sponsored activities, right? Because otherwise, the district would be spared the expenses and wouldn't get the point, right? It is not easy being a leader in fiscal responsibility! I'm glad you have taken on the burden, while the rest of us just meekly give money.
The problem with saying that PIE pays for all of the cake while taxpayers buy meat and potatoes is that it isn't really true. You might as well say that PIE pays for everybody's favorite teachers, while the ones that everyone avoids are paid by the district. Or that PIE pays for Friday afternoons, and taxes pay for Monday mornings. It's all one pot of money, the rest is marketing.
How is that the district can afford lawyers and PR flacks? If PIE stopped, would we lose Spectra art but keep the lawyers and the PR lady? No, we would lose the lawyers and use taxes to pay for the things that people value more than lawyers and PR. So what is PIE money really buying? Space in the budget that is unfortunately being used to pay for stuff that doesn't actually benefit children. That is why PIE should be exerting its influence to rein in excessive salaries and other wasteful spending.
PIE is just more marketing and PR itself. 5 million dollars is nothing. This is a district with nearly 200 million dollar budget. Do you think anything would change without the 5 million? It's not even 3%.
PiE enables the district to say that our schools are so excellent that our parents have a well-funded education foundation, and this foundation does magical things for our schools (not true, it does basically nothing, see above). Those magic things are one of the ways our district is unique and special and extra awesome and our property values should be high, high, high. It is about the brand. Part of the PAUSD Brand is PiE. That's all it is -- branding and PR.
Stop giving to PiE. PiE is a district enabler, supporting the dysfunction, fiscal irresponsibility, mismanagement, and civil rights fiascos of the past few years. If PiE was worth anything it would put a stop to all this Skelly nonsense and shenanigans years ago. During the suicides. During the OCR mess. During the excessive legal fee increases. At any time, Terry Godfrey, head of PiE could have stepped up, been responsible, and said, enough of this OCR nonsense, PIE cannot support a district that is so irresponsible.
Did she? No. Now she wants to be on the board. Good night nurse.
@Good for you and @ parent
What about helping students with 504s and IEPs with things that don't actually cost the district extra money? What about helping any student who has an issue with bullying? Can there be a single type of form to report what happened? Shouldn't those processes go smoothly for all students? Why make that difficult?
How many families retained legal help after receiving letters from PAUSD legal representatives? Those records should be public, right?
Isn't the public entitled to know how often the district's legal reps initiate action against students and families and rack up their own fees? How much of the district's legal fund budget is earmarked to fight compliance with state and federal law? Isn't that a huge conflict of interest?
How many of the rare cases cited about the extensive ABA therapy, etc. are from parents who learned early that lawyering up was the only way to get anything done for a student with an IEP? That is the reputation the district has established.
Why fund more legal fees rather than more effectively educating students???
Reasonable parents are the ones getting the shaft and showing up to the OCR and CA Dept of Ed meetings with example after example of the district not following very basic guidelines that do not cost a dime.
How about providing basic A-G classes so that struggling students can still take UC eligible classes that do not have the extra load of an AP or honors level class? That costs less than adding new "paths" for Paly and Gunn that are not even A-G compliant.
So much of this ridiculous marketing makes no sense. Let's focus on educating all of our students instead of fighting the mandate and ethical responsibility to do so.
@Seriously?, a resident of Palo Alto High School - my post was about giving to PIE. I honestly don't understand what your post is about. Sorry.
BTW our disabled child, 10+ years now with an IEP, has not needed a lawyer to get the quite expensive resources we have sought from the district. It is hard to generalize without data.
@Seriously: "What about helping students with 504s and IEPs with things that don't actually cost the district extra money?" An IEP and 504 automatically generate costs- the amount of paperwork alone and mandatory meetings is time consuming, takes away from the classroom, etc.
I don't know what your personal experience is with these, but I do know mine. Unfortunately, most parents don't have a clue what a 504 or IEP is and make generalized assumptions about them that are not true.
Could the Weekly do a story on the reason Weekly's incredible interest in taking down the district. Just heard the lawyer at the board meeting saying he has never heard of this kind of publicity in OCR findings, ever. Weekly, please don't delete as you do all criticism of you, but give us an honest answer. Thank you.
News flash: the district's own lawyer is not an objective witness.
I'll rephrase that! Do you think he is making something up? And if he is, doesn't it stand to reason that other lawyers on this forum make things up?
I think that if a lawyer tells you that his client is being unfairly treated, you might want to get a second opinion before you believe it.
It's amazing to me the blind faith in the OCR. Where is that blind faith when it comes to the IRS, the Veteran's Administration, the Presidency, the Senate,etc. Certainly there have not been problems in those agencies and offices, ever, so I guess it stands to reason that the OCR is always right, always on time, never biased, etc.
"Isn't the public entitled to know how often the district's legal reps initiate action against students and families and rack up their own fees? "
I would think so. Can't special ed parents ask for this kind of information to be reported on a regular basis, or repot it themselves to some advocacy group?
@Board Watcher: Let's hope you or someone you know is never accused of something you didn't do since no one would believe your lawyer who is defending you. Not sure you thought your statement through.
Re: blind faith...Odd that you think the public should have it towards the PAUSD school board--the same board that won't allow one of it's young students to speak for two full minutes at one of their meetings about bullying, the board that agreed to move a principal with sexual harassment complaints against students and staff to Jordan and put him in proximity to other young students, some with communication issues, the board that can't pull together a straight forward policy on bullying. That effort alone is going on what, three years?
So instead of paying attention to any of those basic issues, the public should instead feel sorry for the school board having to answer basic questions of competency and totally stand behind an expanded legal fund of this nonsense that will, as it has for the past several years, go way over that approved budget. Seriously?
"Could the Weekly do a story on the reason Weekly's incredible interest in taking down the district. Just heard the lawyer at the board meeting saying he has never heard of this kind of publicity in OCR findings, ever."
Perhaps the district's lawyer should have done his homework before making that comment about media coverage of OCR investigations. Here is a sampling of recent news articles regarding OCR enforcement of civil rights in high schools.
City schools accused of neglecting athletes in poor neighborhoods by unfairly allotting funds for sports
Read more: Web Link
Discrimination complaint prompts Ann Arbor schools to change Community High admission policy
Pasadena Unified School District reaches agreement with Office for Civil Rights
Here are some more news stories:
Feds: Pervasive sexual harassment, assaults plague West Contra Costa County schools
Florida scholarship program under federal civil rights investigation
U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights targets L.A. Unified for investigation
@when pigs fly: let me know when you find more than one or two articles on each of those cases in a single paper….I could only find one although I admit I didn't look that hard…
I'm curious as to why bigger news outlets than the weekly have not picked up on this "big news story"? Maybe because they don't see it as such? Would love to have a "outside" reporter do a cover story on the Weekly's focus on PAUSD. They could focus on the comments that are critical of the weekly and a few of the parents that are quickly removed as opposed to the comments that are critical of the staff at our schools that are opinions only and unsubstantiated.
"I'm curious as to why bigger news outlets than the weekly have not picked up on this "big news story""
Simply because it is a local story with no broader implications. Should the investigations find both violations and obstructionism then there would be broader coverage.
It wasn't THE district lawyer, it was one of many lawyers that the board and superintendent have hired. The principals or teachers don't have that authority, just the board and superintendent. After watching the board meeting, is there one stakeholder of PAUSD that was helped by the lawyer? None of this has to do with our kids. It's all about the outgoing board and superintendent. When is that nadir coming?
Funny everybody complaining about the same issues.
The OCR is no different than PAUSD, overworked public office.
Camille keeps repeating her role as a "policy maker" and we know how long it took to write a bullying policy that didn't exist without the OCR.
It's not the media's fault, or the OCR's fault, or PAUSD's fault.
Everybody just cares too much but is not very effective. Site control is looking really good right about now. Even tenure is looking ok. Imagine the turnover fights if teacher's weren't protected?
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