Today we let the mathematics speak for itself. We compare the Cabinet costs of Arizona two largest school districts; Mesa and Tucson Unified School District.
Comparing Cabinet Salaries
The salaries for the Mesa Cabinet includes Base Pay + Performance Bonus + Cell Phone Stipend + Vacation Payout. The salaries for the TUSD Cabinet includes Base Pay + Performance Bonus + Stipend + Free Short Term Disability + Vacation Payout.
It turns out this Vacation Payout turns out to be a huge sum of money for the TUSD Cabinet
If you do not use your vacation time, the cabinet is automatically paid for unpaid vacation days each year. In Mesa, that payout is capped at 6 days, and as you can see below, the total maximum payout is below $3,000 for all Cabinet numbers.
We see that in TUSD, your vacation payout can add up to another huge source of income for the already highly-paid Cabinet. Each TUSD Cabinet member receives either 7 or 5 weeks of vacation per year, in addition to 14 holidays, 6 personal days, and 5 sick days.
Not only is the amount of money TUSD is paying outrageous, but why are TUSD’s leaders taking 7 weeks of paid vacation each year especially during these times of economic crisis and major problems that need to be solved ASAP? No other district employees, except the Superintendent get this much vacation and the unlimited payout annually.
TUSD also gives at least three Cabinet members a Performance Bonus of $10,000, which is how much Mesa’s Superintendent gets. The performance bonus for HT Sanchez is many times larger than this.
Does size matter?
Well, one may respond that TUSD is the largest school district in Tucson, and the second largest school district in the state, so that justifies the need for Cabinet costing over a million dollars.
Hence the comparison with Mesa, which is the largest school district in the state.
We can see above that even though Mesa is nearly 25% larger with almost 12,000 more students than TUSD, it is spending almost half of what TUSD is paying in Cabinet costs.
Furthermore, TUSD has created new Cabinet positions and has given multiple raises, including a $31,000 raise for the person in charge of making TUSD’s budget as non-transparent and complicated as possible, Mr. Awwad.
To get some of these figures has required public information requests by education activist Lillian Fox and threats of lawsuit for violations of public records by TUSD.
TUSD’s HT Sanchez manages to do much less at twice the cost of Mesa’s Michael Gowan.
We will explore some of Mr. Awwad’s misleading budget presentation in coming days, and we will also explore why HT Sanchez is keeping such people around that continue to run the district into the ground, including those with clearly racist revelations.