Six of 13 South Bay school boards will continue serving without pay, three others passed up an opportunity to raise the salaries of their members, while four voted increases for themselves in line with a recently passed state law.
Starting the new year with increased compensation are trustees of the Centinela Valley Union High School District, who doubled their pay from $120 a month to $240; Inglewood Unified, doubled from $200 to $400 a month; Lennox Elementary, where monthly salaries were quadrupled from $60 to $240, and Torrance Unified, up $100 to $400.
An increased workload in carrying out current school reforms was cited as one reason for increasing trustee stipends. McKinley Nash, superintendent of the Centinela district, said his board has been meeting an average of four times a month and he expects that pace to continue as the trustees wrestle with the problems of improving scholastic achievement within tight budget constraints.
Meetings and Travel
Centinela trustees, like those in other districts, are elected to four-year terms and normally meet twice a month. Regular meetings, which include establishing and carrying out district administrative policies and personnel matters, can take 10 to 15 hours a month, trustees said. Conscientious members travel to education conferences and meet with parents, teachers and district administrators.
Districts that declined pay increases said board members did not want to take money away from educational programs. Long traditions of serving without any compensation were cited in the cases of the six school boards whose members receive no pay.
Those districts are El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale, Palos Verdes and Wiseburn.
Districts whose trustees did not raise their salaries were Manhattan Beach Elementary, Redondo Beach Elementary and South Bay Union High School.
Increases in pay were permitted under a state law authored by Assemblyman Charles M. Calderon (D-Alhambra), who pointed out that the salaries of trustees have been frozen for more than a decade. The legislation establishes maximum monthly salaries, ranging from $2,000 for districts with an average daily attendance of more than 400,000, down to $60 for systems with less than 150.
Each school board sets its own salaries, and trustees in any district may elect to take no salaries.
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in the state with an average daily attendance of 518,000, board members doubled their salaries to $2,000, the maximum allowed.
Monthly Salary Raises
Four of the 13 school boards in the South Bay voted themselves monthly raises as of Jan. 1. They were permitted to do so under a new state law.
District Salary Raise Total Centinela Valley $120 $120 $240 El Segundo Unified none Hawthorne Elementary none Hermosa Beach Elementary none Inglewood Unified 200 200 400 Lawndale Elementary none Lennox Elementary 60 180 240 Manhattan Bch. Elem. 20/meeting none 20/meeting Palos Verdes Unified none Redondo Bch. Elem. 50/meeting none 50/meeting So. Bay Union 20/meeting none 20/meeting Torrance Unified 300 100 400 Wiseburn Elementary none