Prompted by reports in the Daily Breeze last month that the Centinela Valley Superintendent was paid $663,365 in total compensation as the top executive of the 6,637 student high school district, Torrance area state assemblyman Al Muratsuchi has introduced a bill that would prevent excessive school superintendent salaries.
“I want to set up a system so that we can prevent abuse and ensure greater transparency and accountability in school districts throughout the state,” Muratsuchi said in a written statement.
The bill would require county offices of education to review superintendent compensation each year, a web site posting of superintendent compensation, and restrict school districts from giving low interest home loans - one of the things that boosted Jose Fernandez' pay so much.
His 2009 contract - approved by the Centinela Valley school board - included an option for a 2 percent loan Fernandez used to buy a two story, four bedroom house, according to the Daily Breeze. He was also reimbursed for costs of beefing up his pension.
The school board defended the contract in an op-ed, saying Fernandez led the district through a period of great academic improvement and that the board vetted the superintendent’s salary through lawyers and took other measures to ensure public transparency.