Menifee Union Superintendent Pay Raise

A teacher at Ridgmoor Elementary writes to me directing my attention to an article in today's newspaper about superintendent Linda Call...

A teacher at Ridgmoor Elementary writes to me directing my attention to an article in today's newspaper about superintendent Linda Callaway getting a pay raise...

Her annual salary is now $173,813, which reflects a 4 percent raise that was provided for in her original contract.

...

Callaway earned $147,808 when she was hired and then signed a three-year contract in July 2007, which bumped her salary to $160,700.
The teacher mentioned that the superintendent shouldn't get a pay raise if teachers don't get one in the same year.

I know that $173,813 is an awful lot of money. But just to play devil's advocate, and to get a discussion going, I pose a couple of questions to readers...

  1. If there is a better superintendent somewhere out there, how much will it cost to lure that person over to Menifee?


  2. Could Callaway get paid far more at another school district?

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  1. This is absolutely upsetting news. Our classrooms are limited to 3 copies per student per day. Our teachers are limited to supplies. School site employees have taken a tremendous cut in pay due to reduction in work days. I can go on and on. Yet the Superintendent can get a 13,000+ increase a year. She is a great person and very involved, but it's ludicrous that she accepts such a high increase when the district is in a fiscal crisis. The Superintendent along with the Board Members obviously don't care about our children or it employees. I thought a school district is supposed to be about the children.

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  2. One of the responsibilities of being a district superintendent is to be a leader and move the district in the correct direction. How can this individual accept a pay increase when cuts are happening? How can someone go to sleep at night feeling good about themselves in this situation?

    Poor leadership or just greed?

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  3. This is not greed,it is the districts duty to honor the contract.How much in legal fees and negotiations would it cost the district to re-negotiate the contract? If you are suggesting she refuse the raise, she cannot.If you think she should give the money back to the district as a gift,perhaps you should request that to her face.This is an issue of compensation.If you were up for a raise,would you turn it down? How would you handle someone that suggests that you shouldn't be able to receive your raise?
    I don't know her personally, but I doubt that she would be considered greedy or of poor leadership ability. This pay increase translates to a little over $250.a week before taxes...If we really care about the Children, why not go after the various unions and state legislators that continue to destroy the quality of California public education. Robert Moffett

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  4. This school district has never been about the kids..no teacher lost their jobs even when there were less kids, it is a joke. Calloway takes what they or she gives to herself. Her staff also received a raise. Stop this bleeding and rid all of them, including the school board.

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  5. Couple of points:
    How can you quote a contract if we have never seen it?
    If you are not happy with the district, goto the meetings and oh yea VOTE.

    If there is a better superintendent somewhere out there, how much will it cost to lure that person over to Menifee?

    Funny question, in this tough economic times a bargin might be had however; it very well could be to good to be true. stick with what we have


    Could Callaway get paid far more at another school district? I doubt it. This is a small district and moving up to a larger district would require a strong backing which I do not think she will get from the district.

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  6. Sounds like the teacher is greedy. She ought to strive to be a superintendent.

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  7. Although there is always room for improvement, I must say I appreciate MUSD's past conservative fiscal policy. When compared with other districts in the county, Menifee is in a better fiscal position, because it has been conservative. Nevertheless, the State of California has been fiscally irresponsible, and unfortunately there is no way for MUSD to escape the repercussions from that. You can blame the problems on the school board or superintendant, but that is sort of like throwing out the baby with the bath water. In response to the question as to whether Callaway should have forgone her pay raise this year, I say absolutely. Yes, she has a contract, but forgoing the pay increase would increase moral for all the employees who have not been given the choice to receive a pay raise. I know there is a contract, but I can't believe that it is impossible to renegotiate if Callaway were to give consent, given the current economic conditions.

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  8. Maybe Menifees Super should take some notes from Corona Norcos Super..... He voluntarily took a pay cut this year. I believe a few Supers within the Inland empire did this. Yeah for them for caring about thier districts.

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  9. 1. I think Robert is dating Dr. Calloway or is somehow related to her.

    2. Contract? What contract?

    3. If she or the board had a brain between them, they would realize classrooms will overcrowded, AP's have been removed from their positions, Classified Staff have been forced to take second jobs or leave their current jobs, and teachers WILL get pinked slipped next year. Translation....DON'T TAKE A RAISE...AT LEAST FOR THIS YEAR.

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  10. Let's be realistic. If you were offered a raise, would you turn it down?

    Would you turn down a raise to save another person's job?

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  11. legally I don't know about contracts, but I'm sure if she really wanted to forgo the raise she could. I think it would most definitely help the moral of the district employees. I have talked to so many MUSD employees that have lost respect for her over this. The secretaries at the schools are losing more that 20% of their pay and secretaries at the district office are not losing anything, even when they have nothing (or significantly less) to do when there are no students in the summer. Sure, we all want raises, but I think deferring to a later time would be a wise move.

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  12. "Would you turn down a raise to save another person's job?"

    Teachers won't.

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  13. To Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 8:11 AM "Would you turn down a raise to save another person's job?

    Teachers won't."

    They didn't - they still get step and column increases (raises) the same as what the Supt. got? I don't see teachers turning that down.

    I don't see the problem if the Supt. is doing the job - I guess that is the question - compare to other districts and boards? Menifee seems pretty good.

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  14. I think the reason people are upset is not about her current contract, which continues for one more year, but the fact that she is being offered a 4percent raise per year for the next 3 years when we are in a fiscal crisis. Teachers are upset and have a right to be. The teachers are going to have higher student counts because the district has said there is no money in the budget to hire another teacher - even if a current teacher resigns! So how can there be money to pay this superintendant more? Teachers are taking on the load of more students per classroom (up to 29 in primary and 39 in upper elementary) with less supplies. Her responsibility is for the same number of students in the district, or maybe the 1 percent increase the district may grow. We don't even have a high school! She shouldn't be paid a comparable rate to the surrounding districts who are k-12, her responsibility is not the same. How can this raise be justified. Next the teachers will have to take a pay cut to afford her. It is a slap in the face.

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  15. so what are your realistic recommendations? Do we force everyone top to bottom to take a pay cut? Do we only go after the people that make more money than we do? How many of us really understand the financial future for the district and what will be required? Some of you have suggested that the Super and the board should be fired...
    I can assure you that if you have a competent board, superintendent and staff, they will be the most qualified people to address our districts concerns.
    But in the meantime lets shame our super into giving back her contractual increase... its alot easier than re negotiating her contract.

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  16. I have worked for many years and Menifee School district has never been fair regarding any hiring policy or pay raises. I know for a fact that Calloway is greedy "duh"! Also for all of you who would keep asking "would you turn down a raise?" Heck yes I would If I was making that kinda of money I would for the sake of my employess and the children of Menifee who will be stuck in bigger classes and short staffed because of lay-offs.
    It does not matter what anyone says Menifee board members and the union do what they want to do regardless of what we say..

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  17. Robert,
    my recommendation is that one: renew her contract next year when the current one is up, and two: have her stay at her current salary. I have heard that the principals (who have lost their Asst Principals next year and will take on, or pass on to the teachers, greater responsibilities) have only 4 steps, so after 4 years of service, they remain at the same salary, our top teachers top out at 15 years - no more raises. So why is it so unrealistic in this economy for our superintendant to act like a leader and face the same financial situation her staff does. Roomer has it teachers will be frozen at step and column after 2010 school year, or asked to take a pay cut. Will our leader do that? oh no, she has her contract with 12% in raises.

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  18. The issue is leadership. The teachers and families will be asked to "do more with less" next school year. As a caring leader of the district, she should forgo the pay raise this year and show her staff that she is willing to feel some of the pain as well. That is leadership 101. She already has a generous car allowance along with her salary. The budget cuts that have been implemented at the district ALL affect the school sites, not the District office which actually added a position.

    Obviously it is her choice as to whether to take the raise or not, but when the Principals, teachers and support staff at the sites are all dealing with reductions in spending and income, it would have been refreshing to know that the Superintendent was willing to share in those cuts. Unfortunately, she chose to take a $13,000 raise. Money that could have helped each school site with important supplies. She made the choice to take the money and now she will have to deal with the fallout of opinion and morale of the staff that she leads.

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  19. This makes complete sense.

    Use reserves to provide raises.

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  20. Who knew in July of 2007 that things were going to go downhill with the economy the way they have, but they have and we've all needed to make adjustments to make it financially right now. My company has been having all of the employees take between 2 and 5 unpaid days off each month since the beginning of the year. I think it's absolutely a slap in the face to our teachers to struggle along while the superintendent gets her raise, whether it was in her contract from 2007 or not. Come on Linda, do the right thing...You know in your heart what that is.

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  21. That the superintendent gets her raise is not so bothersome as the spelling that I've seen on some of these blogs...it's RUMOR, not roomer May 31 blogger. Are you a teacher? Let's pay the superintendent to find whiny teachers like you who can't spell

    Robert, you're trying to give reasons for WHY this is OK but what you don't understand is that a pay raise during a financial crisis LOOKS BAD! Period. It looks bad!

    My guess is that this is all a publicity STUNT and let me tell you all why. In a few weeks, there's going to be an article in the paper about how the MUSD Superintendet decided to turn down the raise "in the interest" of the district {for the time being}. This will in turn make her look good (again). MOST IMPORTANTLY,though, it will set the premise for the board to require and EXPECT teachers to do the same. Let's wait and see.

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  22. June 02, 2009 9:08 PM

    Let me ask a question. What if you’re wrong? What if she keeps her money? Does that mean you spoke before you thought? You bag on people for misspelling a word. I didn’t hear you blame the school system that was responsible for teaching that person to spell. Before you start pointing fingers remember that at any time they can be pointed right back.

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  23. I don't know why anyone automatically blames a teacher when someone misspells a word. Wow, and I will never understand why anyone really believes that teachers got into teaching for the money. Teachers have the same issues with the economy that everyone has right now. Spouses unemployed, college tuition, mortgages....we are hurting here in California and it just doesn't look right when the people at the top get raises and others have pay cuts.....if this is a publicity stunt, and the Superintendent will give up her raise, and expect others to follow....what a sad statement for the Menifee District and the parents that count on the district to live by their motto of "Children First". She probably is a great superintendent, but a $1,000 month salary increase is way beyond the dreams or hopes of the families she serves and the staff that she leads.

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  24. If you need to find a root cause for the failing schools in California look no further then the teachers union. Charter schools do a better job for less. What is the only difference? The union. More then 70% of California’s education budget goes to payroll for the employees. WHY? The average charter school only puts at most 50% towards payroll and last I checked each charter school has to pay for the location that they are at. I know there are people out there that will say that the union is a very valuable protection tool. Protection from what? If you are a good teacher and your kids do well then you deserve to keep your job and even get a 3% pay increase a year. But if you suck as a teacher and you kids are failing then you should be replaced. However with the unions the crap teachers with enough time in can do anything they want and are guaranteed a job. I think the whole system needs to be erased and we need to start from scratch without the union.

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  25. Yeah, it's the teachers and the union that make schools fail.

    It's not kids that don't speak English and families that don't value education. It has nothing to do with the most diverse population of students in the world. Poverty and low income families are not a large factor. Poor parenting, working parents, eroding family values are not the main problem.

    The biggest problem for failing schools is teachers and their union. Give me a break!

    Don't even start on the comparison of regular public schools to Charter and Private schools. That's an old and ignorant path to go down.

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  26. Maybe she actually needs the raise to care for a sick child or parent? I don't know, but as I was reading all of the comments here, it seems that everyone thinks this is an outrageous thing, and I did too, until I started thinking about it.

    Barring something like that, though, I would like to see her decline the raise, but I would not support taking the raise by force or any such thing.

    If she has been selfish, let that be her failure and reputation, and let her live with it. She will be judged by God, as we all will.

    If you're all so upset about waste and abuse of power, you should be calling Sacramento and Washington because that is where all your money is being wasted and redistributed, and that is why we will all be suffering in this bad economy for some time yet. They are devaluing your money by increasing the national debt. $3.85 billion per DAY. $11.3 Trillion as of today. We are losing our status in the world because we are basically BANKRUPT!

    Trillions of your tax dollars are being spent buy things we can't afford, take over private businesses and banks, and to line the pockets of lobbyists, partisan hacks and politicians, who are essentially buying votes and loyalty from the people who are receiving this money.

    They are destroying our country, stop the spending and government expansion! 18+ Czars? Where is that in the constitution?

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  27. Anonymous: June 04, 2009 7:02 PM

    I believe Charter Schools are available to the same kids, same parents, same everything that public schools are, as the man said, WITHOUT the union. So your argument is a little weak, except to say that parents who put their kids in charter schools are probably more involved in their education.

    My kids go to public school, but we have always taught them at home and been involved in their lives, and they are at the top of their classes, but I wonder how they would compare with private or charter school kids?

    The Teacher's Union consistently cries about the budget cuts in our state using our kids as poster-children for its cause, but then chooses to fund the administrators and superintendents rather than the teachers and the classrooms. It is a sick, sick system and we'd be better off without the union. I have talked to teachers who think this as well.

    The GATE teacher in our school is using her OWN money that she gets paid to TEACH the GATE program to FUND the GATE program at our school because its funding is being cut. That is the kind of character and sacrifice that makes us all want to chip in and help her our. THAT is leadership!

    So, if the whole point of our education system is to educate children, and charter and private schools are consistently shown to do a better job overall of doing that, why the resistance by the Teacher's Union to those schools? I suggest the reason is that the Teacher's Union doesn't care about children, it cares about power and money, and it thinks it knows better than parents how to raise children. Otherwise, it would support vouchers and anything else that would help improve and hold accountable the system that educates our future.

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  28. June 05, 2009 3:42 AM

    I have no idea who you are but will you please run for the next open school board seat. You are what this city needs.

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  29. WRONG....IF WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE ROOT OF OUR FAILING SCHOOL SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA, TRY SACRAMENTO. THOSE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ARE NOT EDUCATORS, HAVE NOT IDEA WHAT GOES ON IN THE CLASSROOM, NOR UNDERSTAND WHAT IT TAKES TO TEACH CHILDREN.
    SWALLOW YOUR DAMN PRIDE AND LOOK AT WHAT "SUCCESFUL" STATES DO AND FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE. IT IS EMBARRASING THAT CALIFORNIA IS RANKED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE U.S.

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  30. Calm down.


    Why is the union still asking for more money?

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  31. Asking for more money has nothing to do with how "evil" the union is. Asking for more money is what every company, government, teenager, wife, husband, or anyone does. Stop making a big deal about it and don't take them so seriously. I have yet for any contractor or worker or professional to ever say, "Hey, how about I cut that bill in half..." Unfortunately, the way things are is the way things are. It is o.k. to say "no, no more money" but the key to not letting it damage your objectivity about education is to adopt an attitude of appreciation for the hard work that is being done in our classrooms.

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  32. Oh shut up. If you have a contractor working for you, of Corse they’re not going to cut the bill in half. However when the job is finished and you see that he has not done a very good job, but your neighbor had the same work done and his contractor did a much much better job for half the price you feel screwed. That is the California teachers union and we as Californians look over the borders into other states and see that their kids are being taught better for less. If you feel the need to back the teachers union then be my guest, but they suck and I have not seen them once put the needs of the kids before their pocket book.

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  33. I believe the district has made poor business decisions in regards to cutting back on the budget. Evidently this pay raise was not in the picture. We closed down a perfectly good school (Menifee Elementary) and built NEW schools, to supposedly save money. Would really like to see the financials on this! Dah...don't understand this and the school is still closed! Then you have an employee taking her raise and other employees having to take a cut. Contract or no Contract, I think she should of said no to the pay raise to help with the budget and also fellow employees moral. What's good for one is good for ALL. It takes EVERYONE to run a school. Bus Drivers, Janitors etc.

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  34. While we're talking about the District Office ~ I still do not understand why we need FOUR? Assistant Superintendents, but no APs at the elementary schools ~ Believe me, those Assistant Superintendents get paid lots more money that the APS ($45K more) How much "upper level management" is too much!

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  35. As far as I heard Callaway was not due to have another step increase in her salary until she wrote the language for it and had the board approve it...so it was not a normal step increase...she was already maxed out...sneaky! Also, how does she justify such an astromnomical salary. We are a K-8 district, not a K-12...and we are a small district by comparison...only 2 middle schools and 7 elementary schools. And hasn't any noticed that we are not exactly a high performing district either...I mean it is not like our schools are receiving high state test scores, which may then justify her salary as a measure of her success. And has anyone ever mentioned her ridiculous car allowance as well...I mean how many more perks should she be entitled to while the rest of us are making such enormous sacrifices in this struggling economy? It makes a whole lot of sense to take classroom supplies away, increase class sizes (which is what they are moving forward with even though we fought so hard to save class-size reduction), and eliminate assistant principals at the elementary schools, just to be able to give the superintendant a 4% raise...the children are not first! What's wrong with our governing board to even approve such a ludacris proposal?

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