Trustees in six San Gabriel Valley school districts have taken advantage of a Jan. 1 change in state law to vote themselves pay hikes that double their salaries in five cases and quadruple their pay rate in the sixth.
Board members in eight other districts are expected to decide in coming weeks whether to take the pay raise available under a new state law tying the maximum trustee salary to the size of the district's enrollment.
The new law, sponsored by Assemblyman Charles M. Calderon (D-Alhambra), allows the level of pay to increase for the first time in 10 years. It bases increases on average daily attendance in the districts for 1983-84.
In the Azusa school district, trustees quadrupled their monthly salary, raising the stipend from $60 to $240.
"As they looked at surrounding city councils and other public governing boards, (Azusa board members) felt the (new) stipend was still in a very low range compared to what others were receiving," said Eunice P. Harrington, president of the Azusa board. "Perhaps a stipend of this kind might encourage some people to become a member of the board of education."
Monthly salaries were doubled in five other districts: Alhambra School District (from $200 to $400), Baldwin Park Unified (also from $200 to $400), Glendora Unified (from $120 to $240), Rowland Unified (from $100 to $200), and Walnut Valley Unified (from $120 to $240).
"The extent of inflation between when $200 was set (as a stipend a decade ago) and today is such that probably in whole dollars we're paid less" than 10 years ago, said Ron Apperson, a member of the Alhambra board. "We need to get away from the idea that this is some sort of exorbitant rip-off."
Eight school boards have neither rejected nor adopted an increase and will make the decision in coming weeks. They are the Bassett, Charter Oak, El Monte, Garvey, Hacienda-La Puente, Monrovia, Pasadena and Pomona districts.
School boards in Arcadia, Bonita, Claremont, Covina, San Marino and Temple City invoked standing policies against accepting stipends.
"We don't believe in that," said Warren Hall, a member of the Temple City board. "We feel that it's more important to have the money go to the kids."
In Duarte, Rosemead, South Pasadena and West Covina board members voted not to change their salaries.
But in the Rosemead School District, the board opened the door to increased salaries if members meet more often than expected. While board members did not change the rate of the stipend--$40 per meeting, with an average of two meetings per month--they voted to allow the maximum a board member could receive to jump from $120 to $240.
"We've never had six meetings in a month," board clerk Michael Rosenberg said, explaining that under the new policy board members would rarely exceed the $80 per month of years past.
The largest increase in the state was voted by the Los Angeles Unified School District, with an average daily attendance of 518,000 students. Its board members' stipend increased from $1,000 to $2,000 per month. Monthly Pay Raises for School Boards
Six of 25 San Gabriel Valley school boards have taken advantage of a Jan. 1 change in state law allowing them to increase their salaries. Trustees in six districts continue to serve without pay. The issue is pending in several others.
School district Salary Raise Total % Increase Alhambra $200 $200 $400 100% Arcadia Unified 0 0 0 0 Azusa Unified $60 $180 $240 300% Baldwin Park Unified $200 200 $400 100% Bassett Unified $120 0 $120 0 Bonita Unified 0 0 0 0 Charter Oak Unified $90 0 $90 0 Claremont Unified 0 0 0 0 Covina Valley Unified 0 0 0 0 Duarte Unified $120 0 $120 0 El Monte $120 0 $120 0 Glendora Unified $120 $120 $240 100% Garvey $80 0 $80 0 Hacienda-La Puente $300 0 $300 0 Monrovia Unified $120 0 $120 0 Pasadena Unified 0 0 0 0 Pomona Unified $200 0 $200 0 Rosemead $80 0 $80 0 Rowland Unified $100 $100 $200 100% San Gabriel $120 0 $120 0 San Marino Unified 0 0 0 0 S. Pasadena Unified $50 0 $50 0 Temple City Unified 0 0 0 0 Walnut Valley Unified $120 $120 $240 100% W. Covina Unified $200 0 $200 0