Charter schools & budget busting raises – for the top people

Jack Gerson ( follows up his article from yesterday, with a report on the fat raise given to the school chief in San Francisco as well as a report on who is behind the charter school drive.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Who’s Behind the California Charter Schools Association?

The Schools Matter blog today posted a great visual unmasking some of the big corporate billionaire deformers behind the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Just plain folks like Walmart heir Carrie Walton Penner. CCSA director Jed Wallace helps himself to $335,000 / year, which is no strain on the CCSA budget, since the Waltons and their friends provided CCSA with more than $2.2 million in revenues last year. Check it out here, and be sure to click on their graphic to see more of where their money comes from and where it goes.
S.F. schools supt. Richard Carranza

Yesterday’s post was all about the gross inequality, patronage and nepotism in the Oakland Unified School District, where the school board helps the new superintendent to shovel money to the top (creating several brand new $150,000+/year jobs and filling them with cronies for Denver; handing out generous raises to other high-paid bureaucrats) while sharpening his ax to cut lower-paid (but more important) support positions.  Well, as always, San Francisco won’t stand idly by and let itself be outdone by its East Bay neighbor. So San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jill Tucker reports (click here) that the San Francisco school board just voted  — unanimously — to give a $65,000 / year pay hike to SF schools superintendent Richard Carranza.  As of July 1, Carranza will be hauling down a cool $310,000 / year in base pay alone.

As Tucker reports, Carranza’s pay increase alone is about equal to the average annual salary of San Francisco teachers. The SF school board laughingly justifies the raise as helping to overcome instability and inconsistency caused by superintendents jumping to other, more lucrative, opportunities. They, like the Oakland school board, are far less troubled by the destabilizing effects of teacher turnover.

Tucker quotes San Francisco teacher union president Dennis Kelly as saying, “With wage reopeners less than 18 months away, and teachers continuing to get priced out of the city, we hope this is a signal from the Board of Education that more money for the people in the classroom is also on the way.”  Well, Dennis, we hope that there’s “more money on the way” for teachers, but also for clericals, custodians, cafeteria workers, and the other school workers who have more and more trouble making ends meet. And we hope that there’s more money for the kinds of resources schools really need. But “hoping” won’t make that happen. That’s going to require a united fight by school workers and the community against the school boards and superintendents, and the powerful corporate interests for whom they front — in San Francisco, Oakland, and around the country.

Categories: education/childhood

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