Letters to the Editor: Collect salary data from schools but not by overburdening them
To the editor: I agree with The Times Editorial Board and state Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) that school districts should submit payroll information to the state given our priority for investing in the education of our students. For this reason, and unlike Glazer, I assert his legislation also should cover charter schools.
Since my predecessor began asking K-12 schools to voluntarily report compensation data to this office, our team has received a flood of complaints that the data reporting method and format required were unreasonable for already overburdened schools, as they would require complete and costly overhauls of their internal systems.
Since the California Department of Education already receives significant annual data — including median, minimum and maximum salaries, and in a format that works for a majority of school districts, considering they have a current 76% rate of compliance, compared with my office’s 23% rate — I suggested to Sen. Glazer that having districts report individual salaries to the Department of Education for publication would be the less bureaucratic solution.
I look forward to working with Sen. Glazer on finding the most effective way to increase transparency for all state-funded schools.
Betty T. Yee, Sacramento
The writer is the state controller of California.
To the editor: I was pleased to see The Times’ editorial on reporting school salaries.
Here in Ontario, you might know that the Ontario-Montclair School District has a grossly paid superintendent, James Q. Hammond, who is pocketing a salary and benefits worth nearly $700,000 annually.
If school administration salaries were more transparent, maybe we wouldn’t have a highly paid superintendent, and more taxpayer money could be going to our students to help close the learning gap.
John Egan, Ontario
The writer is former president of the Ontario-Montclair Teachers Assn.