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SDUHSD teachers average over $100K for about a half a year of work, making them some of the highest

Per data from the CA Department of Education (CDE), the record 12.5% raise that board members Dalessandro, Hergesheimer and Herman gave our teachers a few months before Dalessandro and Hergesheimer ran for re-election was not only the highest 2-year raise in the county, but made many of our teachers some of the highest paid in California and even the nation with salaries averaging over $100,000. Despite the status of our teachers as some of the highest paid in the nation, the board majority just gave another raise turning the 12.5% into an overall 13% raise, even though the 2015-2018 Master Contract has not even expired yet (it expires the end of June 2018).

Some numbers that may be of interest:

1. According to CDE records, San Dieguito pays the 12th highest minimum salary* in California out of over 1,000 school districts.

*Note: These numbers are prior to the December 14, 2017 Board Approved additional raise given (despite the Master Contract having not yet expired) making the overall raise 13%.

2. The average SDUHSD teacher salary was $103,417, excluding additional payments for extracurricular services, extended year payments, and pension and benefit contributions (see p. 21 of CDE table referenced below). Six figure salaries are being paid even though the district's work "year" for certificated staff is only 186 days (maximum), which is closer to half a year.

3. Per Transparent California (California's largest database for public salaries and pensions), some of the highest paid San Dieguito teachers have compensation packages close to $200,000 for their half a year of work (which of course includes the payment of full pensions upon retirement):

With these numbers, it’s easy to understand how the record breaking raise for our teachers earned the 2016 "Grand Golden Fleece" Award from the San Diego Taxpayer’s Association because the board majority approved not only the 12.5% raise, but also a guarantee clause in the contract that ensured additional raises to keep the teachers the highest paid in all of San Diego county regardless of the fiscal health of the district and without any regard to student or teacher performances. Per the chart below, the difference in pay between San Dieguito and other districts is significant so it will be interesting to see if the board agrees to even more raises in the contract negotiations currently underway given how high the salaries already are.

And taxpayers, doesn't it concern you that:

  • Dalessandro, Hergesheimer and Herman approved the record 12.5% raise for certificated, classified and administrative staff just months before Dalessandro and Hergesheimer ran for re-election, that the union then raised and spent almost $40K to support the re-election campaigns of Dalessandro and Hergesheimer, and that these re-elected board members will now vote on the new master contract currently in negotiation despite the teachers' PAC's significant activities to support their campaigns;

  • these history making raises added an approximately $15 million reoccurring expense to the district’s operational budget which now shows a $9 million+ deficit; and

  • parents continue to be asked for hundreds of thousands of dollars to help pay for school site needs such as curriculum, materials and supplies, technology and the like (but there is no trail that all the money raised is actually going to the site) because the District claims it has no money.

In 2018, 3 board member positions will be up for election. Our community voters need to ask themselves if they want school board members more in touch with the needs of the school sites and our students, or board members more concerned with scratching the backs of the teachers who raise and spend money to get them elected. Is 2018 the year we stop the "back scratching" cycle?

Remember Watchdog readers, the teachers are currently in negotiation for their 2018-2021 Master Contract. Given that there is also an election coming up that could topple the board majority who gave the teachers their $100K+ salaries for their half year of work, it will be interesting to see if the board majority gives even more raises and how much support the union puts behind certain candidates.

Plus, with these salary numbers, isn’t it time we stop talking about how underpaid teachers are and start asking why they keep getting raises while parents are guilted and nickeled and dimed for athletics, music and other program supposed needs?


CDE Table: Certificated Salaries and related statistics for 2016-17 (by CDE, School Fiscal Services Division), ranking San Dieguito as #12 highest paid.

SDUHSD Faculty Association Master Contract (p. 6 defining “work year” as a maximum of 186 days)

CDE Fingertip Facts (with tables about how many districts, schools, etc.)

Average Teachers Salaries in America (Niche) "Ratification [of Master Contract] makes this settlement the largest two-year salary increase in all of San Diego County," CTA Blog "San Dieguito Settlement Shows Patience and Hard Work Pay Off," 12/18/15. "Transparency is lost in the San Dieguito teachers' contract," by M. Sutton, Del Mar Times (1/8/16). "Budgeting for the San Dieguito raise," by M. Sutton, Del Mar Times (1/14/16)

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