Paso Robles public schools’ chief executive declines pay raise

Paso Robles Public Schools’ chief executive has turned down a pay raise and will take volunteer furlough days as the district pushes through more state funding shortfalls.

At this week’s board of trustees meeting, Superintendent Kathy McNamara said she would take five furlough days this school year and an additional five next year.

She declined the 5 percent pay raise this school year.

The pay scale for the district’s superintendent position is $156,000 to $186,271, according to its personnel office. McNamara was not available Thursday to discuss her specific salary.

The district’s personnel office doesn’t disclose specific contract information — including salaries — on individual employees, officials said.It’s not yet known if other top district administrators will follow her lead.

Earlier this month, a list of proposals was released suggesting cuts to save the district at least $7.4 million over the next 18 months. Those cuts could include additional teacher layoffs.

The furloughs represented her “commitment to the district and our fiscal solvency,” McNamara said in a memo sent to district employees this week.

Paso schools employ 340 certificated teachers and 325 classified staff at 12 schools.

Its unions, the California State Employees Association and the Robles Public Educators, are waiting to negotiate the suggested cuts to employees and teachers until the district’s projected $7.4 million shortfall is firmed up with the state.

The school board reviewed other money-saving suggestions this week. Those suggestions include additional class-size increases, more teacher layoffs and cuts to libraries, music and sports programs.

“The board hasn’t made any decisions on any of the cuts,” district spokeswoman Anne Quinn said.

Still, the public packed into Tuesday’s meeting and spoke for the programs they loved, Quinn said. Students pleaded to keep athletics.

Also among the measures is a proposal to rearrange Bauer-Speck Elementary School at 17th and Vine streets by moving some of the students.

Parents, businesses and neighbors of the two-campus school plan to protest that idea at a community rally scheduled for 3 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the playground on the Bauer side, rain or shine.

Quinn said she expects the school board to take action on the budget proposals in mid- to late February.

What’s next on the agenda

At the next board of trustees meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at 800 Niblick Road, members will review whether to add sixth graders to Phillips-Freedom Community Day School, a program for expelled students. The meeting to decide on potentially moving that school into town to save money hasn’t been announced yet.