Lawmaker drops bill to give LAUSD board hefty raises

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first_imgThey would have been the only ones in the state to benefit from the bill. “I’ve decided to withdraw my amendment to AB 68 in view of the Los Angeles spring ballot Measure L,” Dymally, a former LAUSD teacher, said in a statement. “While I do believe that board members deserve a higher salary than they are currently receiving, I am going to leave it to the constituents to decide what the appropriate compensation should be.” An aide to Dymally said he would have no comment Wednesday beyond the written statement. Measure L, on the March 6 city ballot, also targets salary issues for the school board. A California lawmaker who proposed legislation that would have given Los Angeles Unified school board members six-figure salaries said Wednesday that he is abandoning the proposal. Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Compton, said he now believes voters should determine board members’ pay and that he plans to withdraw his legislation. The move, which became public earlier this week and drew widespread criticism, would have allowed boards overseeing 500,000 students or more to become full-time employees and vote themselves hefty pay hikes. LAUSD board members – currently part time with salaries of $24,000 a year – would have seen raises of 600 percent, to $171,000 a year. If approved by voters, the measure would create a review committee to set board member salaries every five years. It would also limit board members to three terms and apply certain Los Angeles campaign finance laws to board elections. Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who proposed the measure, said while he believes board members should be paid more, the 600 percent proposed pay hike was excessive. Measure L would establish a compensation committee that would determine LAUSD board members’ pay, modeled on a commission the state uses to compensate the state Legislature. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the City Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and members of other cities in the LAUSD’s jurisdiction would be able to appoint seven members to the committee. Time is money The committee would then study the board’s duties and make a reasonable salary recommendation. “This will allow a citizens commission to thoroughly evaluate the duties of board members and compensate them appropriately,” said Huizar, a former school board member. “We want to be able to attract school board members who can spend time on the duties before them. “You’re talking about the second-largest school district in the country … It really is demanding on a person’s time.” Villaraigosa, meanwhile, is pushing to strip the school board of most of its authority and shift power to the district superintendent and City Hall. Huizar said the committee that would be established on his measure could be a valuable tool in determining any salary change in the event the board loses some power. While school board members said the raise proposed in Dymally’s bill was too high, most did not specify what they felt would be appropriate compensation. Laying it down Board member David Tokofsky said giving board members a teacher’s salary seemed fair. The current average salary at the LAUSD is $60,000. “School boards essentially should be lay boards – people who approach it not as professional politicians but as concerned parents, grandparents and businesspeople,” Tokofsky said. “To turn it, in an era of term limits and office jumping, into a significantly salaried position is to solidify the status quo and cause more people to be disillusioned with the motives of professional politicians.” Board President Marlene Canter has declined to comment on the legislation and board member Mike Lansing said he did not support the large pay increase. School board member Marguerite LaMotte earlier released a statement saying that she couldn’t support the portion of the bill giving the board authority to become full time and get the pay raise. “It would be unconscionable for me to support a 600 percent raise when most of our staff members just received a 6 percent raise and we are seriously still seeking funding resources to provide health care benefits to many of our dedicated employees,” LaMotte said. “Thanks, Assemblyman Dymally. But no thanks.” [email protected] (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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