Parents protest pay raise for highly-paid San Ramon Valley Unified superintendent, top administrators

SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) -- Parents in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District staged a protest Thursday after their school board voted to give its highly-paid superintendent and other top administrators a raise.

The parents think the timing is especially bad with all the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis that came with it.

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"The raises are the straw that broke the camel's back," said Dr. Penelope Westney M.D., a pediatrician with two children in SRVUSD schools. "These raises came at a terribly inappropriate time and when everybody knows that there will be less funding for every school district because the state has less funding."

On Tuesday night, the school board unanimously approved a retroactive 2.5% raise for superintendent Rick Schmitt, among other top administrators.

It's the same level of pay increase teachers and other employee groups received earlier this year.

"What the people that are complaining don't realize is that we have a philosophy of paying all of our employees a competitive wage to ensure that we can attract the best and the brightest," said School Board President Greg Marvel, "And you don't do that by being at the bottom of the schedule."

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But these parents point out Schmitt already makes $350,000 and he's retiring in July.

"These people are up beyond $250,000 to $350,000 per year," said parent Andrea Vomund. "What are the teachers getting? Way less than that. What are the principals getting? Way less than that. It's fishy."

Marvel told us the pay increases for all employees may only be temporary, given the expectation that his district and all others in California will likely face steep budget cuts, in the tens of millions for SRVUSD, during the next school year.

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