Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson – along with select executives at the district – sought a raise from the Fresno Unified Board at their upcoming meeting next week, sources told CVObserver. However, the bid was shortlived.
Other administrators lumped in for salary hikes – CFO Ruth Quinto, Chief Academic Officer Kim Mecum, and Chief of Human Resources and Labor Relations Paul Idsvoog.
The board’s agenda designated a meeting between the execs and the district’s labor negotiator. Multiple sources told CVObserver that the meeting will discuss increasing Hanson’s pay in accordance with recent state legislation on salaries for education leaders.
Multiple sources told CVObserver that the Board pulled the agenda item after this article was first published.
The legislation – known as a “Bell bill” for its ties to the fallout of the City of Bell scandal – bars school boards from approving pay increases for superintendents and other unrepresented salaried employees if the raises go beyond the cost-of-living adjustment based on the California Consumer Price index.
The push for raises come less than a year after Fresno Unified suffered a spell of legal losses and ethics inquiries that placed considerable heat on Hanson’s management style, including the use of self-erasing messaging apps. Many inquiries, including an ongoing federal probe into the district’s contracting methods for construction work, stemmed from a single lawsuit filed by Fresno contractor Stephen Davis.
Amid graduation week, Hanson and Fresno Unified have been in a see-saw news cycle as new graduation rates show some improvement at the district while truancy numbers are still staggeringly high. Those were followed by an op-ed in Thursday’s Fresno Bee from a Bullard valedictorian (and soon-to-be Stanford Cardinal) who slammed the district for canning his graduation speech due to his criticism of the district’s culture of cheating and violence on campus.
Up-to-date salary information for Hanson and other officials are apparently difficult to find, Fresno Bee reporter Mackenzie Mays tweeted Friday afternoon:
4 hours ago, I asked for salaries of top officials @fresnounified. It should not be this hard. It should be easily accessible to taxpayers.
— Mackenzie Mays (@MackenzieMays) June 10, 2016
— Mackenzie Mays (@MackenzieMays) June 11, 2016