Hayward school board President Grant Peterson was excluded from the Q&A session with Superintendent Dr. Dale Vigil and Hayward Education Association President Kathy Crummey that we published last Friday because some answers required more time for research purposes. He was initally interviewed last week, while the strike was still going on.
Here are his answers, in his own words, to strike-related questions from parents, teachers, students, readers and The Daily Review.
Why did you feel it was necessary to give such a large raise to the top four administrators when teachers had not yet received a raise and negotiations had not been settled?
We had just settled a three-year contract with Hayward Education Association in December of 2005. The district was just coming out of financial difficulties, and at the same time, we finally had a strong administrative team in place.
Three months later, in March of 2006, we began looking at the three (not four) administrative contracts that were coming to an end in June of 2006. These three individuals were committed to our district, but we also knew the reality, that March is the time other districts recruit top talent, and we knew that we could lose any or all of them.
We wanted to stop the “revolving door” syndrome that has plagued HUSD administration over the years, and the only way to do that was to keep their salaries competitive. Our board felt that the district could afford the $57,000 it cost to retain these administrators. We also knew that replacing any of these administrators would cost more than the raise we gave them.
We also wanted to align these contracts to Dr. Vigil’s, which ends in June of 2008, so we would be able to have all four of our contracted employees on the same schedule. We felt that having all contracts aligned would again provide for stability and continuity that HUSD had previously lacked.
Why does HUSD need the highest paid superintendent in the area?
Actually, HUSD does not have the highest paid superintendent in the area.
Many superintendents’ salaries include a car allowance, expense account, payment of professional dues, reimbursement for training and professional development, an annuity and health insurance. Dr. Vigil receives two things: his salary and reimbursement for his professional dues. Nothing else.
The bottom line: If you compare the salary and benefits Dr. Vigil receives to other superintendents, both locally and in similar school districts across California, you will find his salary to be competitive but by no means at the top. In Alameda County alone, the total salary and benefits package of two superintendents exceeds that of Dr. Vigil’s, and an additional two are within a few thousand dollars of the total compensation offered by HUSD.
A major factor in setting a superintendent’s salary is the history and marketability of a district. HUSD has faced many tough challenges for a number of years, with stability at the top level being absent. When our board began its search for a superintendent, the first “round” met with failure. We did not find any candidates that we felt fit our needs, so we began a new search. This second search brought Dr. Vigil into the candidate pool, and the board determined that he was an excellent match for helping us fine-tune and implement our goals. He has done just that.
Part of the agreement with Dr. Vigil was that he would bring in additional resources to the district, and he has done just that. In under two years Dr. Vigil has brought over $4.2 million into HUSD in the form of grants from foundations. He has moved here, registered to vote here, and has quickly become part of the Hayward community.
To answer your question again, while Dr. Vigil is not the highest paid superintendent in the area, he has brought so much to this district and is worth every penny he has been paid, and then some.
How much money has been spent on outside consultants, including the demographer, the lawyers filing injunctions, curriculum consultants, professional development and other consultants hired from outside the district? How much this year? How much in past years?
(This information is provided by Jan Combes, Business Services)
General purpose (unrestricted) funds are not spent on curriculum consultants or professional development; these are paid for out of state and federal grant money specified for these purposes only.
HUSD does not have a Facilities Department, therefore it was necessary to use the services of an outside firm when HUSD developed its Facilities Master Plan. Funding for these services were provided from a combination of developer fees, state grant funds (Williams Emergency Repair Act) and residual money left from prior district construction. The Building Fund is separate from the General Fund money and cannot legally be used for employee salaries. This included demographic projections, help with realigning boundaries, prioritizing construction projects, and assessing the needs for safety and structural improvements under the “Williams Act.”
Administrative services primarily represent the cost of doing business and include advertising and fingerprinting expenses, legal expenses, election costs, audit expenses, and some mailing and printing services. We do not have the most recent legal fee figures; however, the services of an attorney are part of the HUSD negotiations process. Our legal fees also include fees relating to all district services, including special education.
Please see attached chart, which shows that Educational and Operations expenses are the largest percent of outside services utilized by HUSD.
Why has the board been seemingly absent during the strike? Why does it seem like the board defers all authority to Dr. Vigil? Doesn’t the board have more authority than him?
It may seem to the public that the board is not involved –- or absent –- during the strike. Our board is not part of the negotiations team. We have, however, met almost daily to remain updated on the status of negotiations and the strike. We are in constant contact, sometimes several times an hour, with Dr. Vigil and district staff. Each of us has spent a great deal of time responding to e-mails, phone calls and faxes, as well.
Prior to the strike, the board determined we needed to have a single spokesperson for HUSD, and that person would be Dr. Vigil. A school board has one employee, the superintendent, and he has followed the direction of the board meticulously. What authority Dr. Vigil has he receives from the board and the California Education Code.
Is the district paying to fly subs up or transport them in from other districts?
HUSD is not flying subs up. We have had several retired superintendents (all certificated) who have come from other areas on their own time and paying their own way. We have not reimbursed them for any expenses, nor did we pay them for working. Each administrator either assisted the site principal or taught in a classroom on a volunteer basis.
Is the district budget available for public viewing? If so, where?
The district budget is a public document. Anyone can review the budget. A copy is available in the superintendent’s office, and if more specific information is needed, arrangements need to be made through Dr. Barry Schimmel’s office: (510) 784-2680.