Letter to the Editor: A look at superintendent’s contract

As a general proposition, a Superintendent is the educational leader of a school district. The relationship between a superintendent and the community he or she serves is defined by the superintendent’s contract.

Most educational communities fail to focus sufficient attention on the superintendent’s contract. Government entities like cities, counties, and school districts do not spend enough time reviewing a local leader’s contract. In any event, a superintendent’s contract is an important governing document.

Our superintendent’s contract is for three years and contains provisions for the renewal of all terms and conditions (including the three-year term) even if the board does not take any formal action to renew the contract. Further, in terms of salary increases, the contract provides that the superintendent shall (if the board fails to evaluate the superintendent or his most recent evaluation is satisfactory) receive the same increase as the principals.

Isn’t it possible that, even if the superintendent’s most recent performance is satisfactory, the principals might deserve a higher raise than the superintendent? Can’t the superintendent stand on his own when it comes to considering salary increases?

Finally, if the superintendent receives a satisfactory performance evaluation for his most recent service, his contract is automatically renewed so that he has three additional years on his contract.

Should the superintendent’s contract be automatically renewed for an additional three years just because his most recent performance is satisfactory?

Should the superintendent’s contract be automatically renewed for an additional three years when API scores when compared to other districts at the higher quartiles are not very good?

Should the superintendent’s contract be automatically renewed for an additional three years when the district is on the verge of bankruptcy?

Should the superintendent’s contract be automatically renewed for an additional three years when the district’s long-term debt is shameful and unsustainable under current conditions? Should the superintendent’s contract be renewed when the district fails to pass a needed bond measure?

John Rajcic


Editor’s note: John Rajcic, a Ramona school board member, states “this is solely the opinion of John Rajcic, not the opinion of the school board.”

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Posted by Staff on Jan 22 2013. Filed under Editorial, Letters to the Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Comments for “Letter to the Editor: A look at superintendent’s contract”

  1. The relationship between a school superintendent and the community he or she serves is not only defined by a contract. It is built on trust. It is built on appreciation.It is built on service, sacrifice and compromise during tough times. Attorneys for the Board can look at exit clause in our superintendent's contract. Attorneys for the Superintendent can look at these also. But befor this occurs, the question at hand is the relationship between the superintendent and the community repairable? When the Superintendent's advocacy for a necessary bond measure is seen as him saving his salary or his job, then he cannot advocate for what he feels is necessary for the school district. It puts him in a double bind and unable to do his job.

  2. Part 2:He and other administrators have sacrificed a percentage of their benefits to set an example. If he makes a grander gesture of donating half his salary back to the school district so that students at Ramona Elementary could have new text books next year… that would help regain trust.. but no one is that altruistic.. right? It would inspire altruism and sacrifice in the rest of us, whether we be voters or teachers. On the other extreme, if he would say "thank you for coming to this meeting" or "thank you for your concern about our school district." and shake our hands instead of walking off to his car with his power point projector, would that help? I believe it would. I do not envy any school superintendent in California right now, especially our superintendent who inherited a financial mess and an unsympathetic public. But perhaps he is up to challenge of turning this around. It would make him a hero.

    • Guest

      Yet the trustees just gave him a pay increase while asking the teachers and classifieds to take pay cuts. Don't you see a problem with that. As someone who has sat in upper management (just as high or higher than Graeff) and also been involved with membership in a union I think it's time for Mr. Graeff to go. When you are in the position he is in if you really, truely care you say thanks but no thanks. I did it on many occasions and it sure made life easier publically as well as dealing with my employees. Greed gets you nowhere!

    • big bird

      what a hoot! graeff just received a pay *increase* from $195,735 to $200,591 (plus add-ons which approach $250k total).

      be careful not to confuse that with a raise…an easy mistake to make. kudos to dr john as the only trustee to vote against this raise (oops…there, i did it).

      the teachers need to take a cut, but it's easy to see why they're riled up about it. graeff take a cut? in your dreams!

      i am so glad R failed and pledge to take an active role in opposing any future bond.

  3. Really?

    Big Bird, I would hope you do not have children attending schools in this district. If you do, you should use your real name as a first step in your "active role."

  4. Dwayne

    I voted against Prop R as well. I could careless about the whinning teachers. People need to understand that simple math is your problem. When your home pocket book runs out of money, you but back. Simple as that.

    Myself I recently moved and have no cable service, because it would dampen my budget. I ride a Harley vs a car to save on gas. I coupon shop now to save even a simple dollar.

    So I don't claim to know the issue at hand very well, but I do understand cuts need to happen. Don't make this about the children…its about Teachers $$$ and pensions and the Union Dues collected.

    When I was in grade school my class size was 35…at work my company has downsized and we do more with less.

    Face it the economy sucks…so tighten up your belts and make due to change to reduce costs or find out later that Teachers will be losing jobs to save cash.

    Also my kids did attend this District and my grandson will soon one day…so get off your High Horse and make the changes needed to prosper.

    I wish I had a job that paid very well and gotten great tax breaks and had long summer vacations PAID!!!

    • shocked

      Who are you saying gets paid very well? Most of the teachers, 80% have summer jobs to supplement the lack of pay. Look into things before you claim 'to not know the issue at hand.' And a Harley is a pretty expensive bike for someone 'cutting down' and not the most fuel efficient.

      • big bird

        the teachers are paid very well. here is the salary schedule (though i'm guessing you've already seen it): http://www.ramonausd.net/site/handlers/filedownlo...
        take note the automatic annual increases most receive. there are few, if any, teachers in the district with less than 5 years service. an 8% cut just puts most of them back where they were 2 years ago. how many of us wish we were still getting what we received 2 years ago? it's been a tough row for many outside the ALT.
        i think dwayne's points were well taken. a lot of people have had to cut back, and he gave examples from his experiences. i bet that harley eats at least 10% less gas than a typical car. i have a feeling the teachers will get by with a few cuts themselves.

  5. shocked

    The fact of the matter still remains, how can he receive a raise when every one else in the school system is getting cut? No wonder there's a strike looming. This is absolutely ridiculous. How can he demand everyone to take a cut and give himself a raise? When the teachers go on strike, will everyone realize how the workers at the school–teachers, janitors, secretaries–have been treated?

    • big bird

      agreed, but keep in mind it's the board that gave him the increase (careful, don't call it a raise). he just accepted it. i am very disappointed that only dr john voted against this. hear that, guy and gals?

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