MODESTO — The Stanislaus County Board of Education gave its superintendent, Tom Changnon, a 15 percent raise Tuesday, to a $190,731 yearly salary.
The vote was unanimous. The pay boost, to take effect May 1, puts the elected post now midrange among a salary survey of similar counties.
County board President Luis Molina asked for the salary survey, which showed the Stanislaus salary squarely at the bottom of what the state calls Tier III county offices.
At the top was the San Joaquin County superintendent's compensation of $235,000 "way out of line for us," Molina said. But they say the post should be competitive. Trustee Kim Spina suggested the 15 percent figure.
The last salary adjustment was six years ago, Molina said.
Changnon did not comment on the agenda item.
After the meeting, support staff negotiator Kyle Harvey said the move came "at the worst possible time."
He was at the county office to protest the layoff of an employee making $35,000 a year who works with at-risk youth needing a court liaison or mental health services. He called Changnon's nearly $25,000 raise "really troubling."
The board also moved forward with a new initiative to raise graduation rates. County office Assistant Superintendent Sue Rich said United Way would partner with SCOE on the effort.
The county office push will target seventh grade and above, where kids start to spiral down and out, Rich said.
"It's been a rumble in the community. Something needs to be done about graduation rates," she said.
For teens who fail to graduate, the county office will propose a charter school to serve 18- to 22-year-olds, partnering with existing work-training programs to provide young adults with a second chance at a diploma.
The cutting-edge concept is also being proposed in Riverside County, head of alternative education Scott Kuykendall said.