superintendent Dr. Steven Ladd surprised audience members at Tuesday night's school board meeting with the announcement that he will decline any future pay raises he is entitled to under his five-year contract.
Teachers had showed up at the meeting to denounce a scheduled 3.5 percent pay boost Ladd received in July, bringing his annual salary to $251,944.
"You Feed While We Bleed" read one sign held by a protestor captured on video by KCRA.
Both teachers and the superintendent have taken salary rollbacks and furlough days over the past two years, but teachers say Ladd hasn't done enough to share in the pain.
"We wanted Dr. Ladd to lead by example and not take the average cut of our members," said Scott Scidmohr, an associate director at the Elk Grove Education Association, which represents the district's teachers. "He should be taking the most of anyone."
Teachers also received salary step increases in July, but because of other concessions, some actually saw their net compensation drop this year, Scidmohr said.
District spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich said Ladd had decided to take the pay freeze well before Tuesday night's protest.
"He had been thinking about this for quite some time," she said. "In light of the ongoing recession that’s been impacting school districts and with no end in sight, he felt it was the right thing to do for the district."
Scidmohr called the superintendent's decision "a good step."
Ladd is in the third year of his contract and was scheduled to receive two more annual pay increases of 3.5 percent each.
Even without the raises, his pay is still set to climb to $273,195 next year when temporary salary cuts expire for both teachers and administrators. But it will stay there for the remainder of his contract, Graswich said.
Readers, what do you think of the superintendent's decision?