Residents Explode on Superintendent, School Board During Emergency Meeting: ‘This Is Crazy!’
Feb. 27, 2014 10:28pm Becket Adams
A school superintendent in California came under fire this week after parents questioned his hefty salary (image source: KCAL-TV)
A school superintendent in California got an earful earlier this week when parents were given the chance during an emergency meeting to question his supposedly excessive salary.
“You should all step down and walk away from this! This is ridiculous! This is nuts, this is crazy! I give my wife everything! I do anything I can for my wife! I’m sleeping with her! Who are you sleeping with?” one man shouted during the meeting.
Jose Fernandez, who oversees the Centinela Valley Union High School District in Lawndale, Calif., reportedly earned $663,000 in 2013, according to KCAL-TV.
His district includes only three high schools with a combined total of 6,500 students.
The district also reportedly floated Fernandez a loan of more than $900,000 at 2 percent interest over 40 years. The loan was granted at a time when the superintendent had already declared bankruptcy.
“I propose that there be a special recall election of this whole damn board, and a criminal investigation into the board for breach of fiduciary responsibility,” one man yelled during the emergency meeting held Tuesday.
“Not only is it wrong, it’s unethical, it is immoral to pay anybody that amount,” a woman added.
For his part, the superintendent said he’s mindful of the needs of the people in his district.
“I do hear you. I’ve listened very carefully, and I will sit and work with the board to deal with your concerns and the concerns they may have, and I think we’ll go through a process,” he said during the meeting.
He continued, claiming he lifted the district from its previously derelict state.
“The facilities here were…my God…some of them were similar to the situation in Haiti,” he said.
Caryn Charles is a high school teacher in Hawthorne, Calif., and she says she has to pay out of pocket for paper for her students while the district lavishes the superintendent with handsome loans and a massive salary.
“It’s really embarrassing as a teacher that we don’t have any paper at our department at our school. With all due respect to all of you, but it’s embarrassing when I have to go to Office Depot and buy paper, and I read that other people don’t have to worry about things like that,” she said.
Sandra Suarez, a former board member, said Fernandez should resign from his post immediately.
“I think the superintendent needs to resign and give back everything he’s taken. It’s morally and ethically wrong, and it’s affecting our children,” she said.