Pay raise for San Francisco Board of Education members debated 

A measure allowing a pay raise for members of the Board of Education will go before voters in June if a special election is called.

The cost of any raise, however, would be borne by the financially struggling San Francisco Unified School District.

The charter amendment for the June ballot approved Tuesday in an 8-3 vote by the Board of Supervisors puts the decision on a raise in the hands of the school district, allowing the Board of Education to set any increase in members’ compensation. It also would require any compensation, which would be capped at $25,000 per year, to be paid for by the school district, not The City.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who voted in support of the charter amendment, said $25,000 is a modest increase.

“It lets them determine how much they get paid,” he said. “And it puts a cap on it. I don’t understand why the city and county of San Francisco would bar the district from making its own decisions.”

Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Mark Farrell and Carmen Chu voted against the measure, citing budget deficits at all levels of government and the fact that many people already run for the board positions regardless of pay.

Members of the Board of Education currently receive a stipend of $500 per month, which equates to $6,000 per year. The stipend was established in the 1980s and has not been increased since.

The school district, however, is facing a possible $20 million in additional cuts from its $500 million budget.
A June election has not yet been called by the state Legislature, although Gov. Jerry Brown has said one could be needed to extend vehicle- and income-tax measures as part of his plan to cover the state’s $23 billion deficit.

Significant spending reductions will also be made, according to the budget proposals.

The state Legislature has until March 10 to call a June 7 special election.

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