At the end of his contract, which was renewed Tuesday night, TUSD’s Superintendent H.T. Sanchez will earn approximately $260,000 as base salary next year, plus a bonus, which equals $390,000 for next year, with expense allowances. As a result, he will be making over $400,000 next year.
Board members Michael Hicks and Mark Stegeman were not allowed to see the contract before they were asked to vote on it. Juarez admitted in the meeting that he had received the contract by email weeks ago.
Next year, Sanchez will make the $390,000 plus $28,000 in expense allowances and maximum bonus of $15,600 with 8 weeks of paid leave. That amounts to a raise of $75,000 plus one more week of paid leave.
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This year, the Board actually raised his salary by $30,000, with only three weeks left in the year.
Prior to the vote, Board member Michael Hicks asked, “So, the further away you are from students, the more money you make?”
The Governing Board meeting grew tense, as both Board President Adelita Grijalva and Board member Kristel Foster appeared to violate Arizona’s Open Meeting laws by discussing conversations which occurred in Executive Session in order to defend their positions. The two violated the law, after Stegeman asked to discuss the contract in the open meeting. In response, Foster and Grijalva said that the details were discussed in the privacy of the Executive Session and there was no need to discuss them openly.
After the vote, Grijalva called for Sanchez to go through the “love tunnel.” To view contract, click here.
When the TUSD board received an End-of-Year report on achievement – of the 25 broad first-year goals of the “strategic plan” – Sanchez in what is described by Stegeman as a “a self-evaluation,” found that the staff achieved 100% of every goal.” According to Stegeman who posted the comment on Facebook, “The process was obviously quite unlike those used to evaluate students, teachers, and principals. The 25 goals, which include items such as “Develop green energy audits,” skirt TUSD’s two overarching issues: they completely ignore preserving and rebuilding enrollment; and they barely mention and set no standards for any dimension of student achievement. The 25 goals also did not even mention the desegregation case,” concluded Stegeman.
One teacher watching the performance said, “It’s funny. His salary grows at the same rate that students leave.” She then later said, “No, there is nothing funny about it. The joke is on us.”
TUSD has used long term substitute teachers rather than hire full-time teachers who would be eligible for health insurance and retirement benefits. While granting substantial bonuses to administrators, the Board voted against the wishes of Board members Michael Hicks and Stegeman, by approving a contract that farms out substitute teacher personnel issues to ESI, a private contractor.
In an odd twist, administrator Abel Morado, a retiree who also contracts with ESI, was awarded a bonus and expense stipend along with Sanchez’s “leadership team,” to be paid for by the District despite the fact that he is not a District employee. Stegeman challenged the legality of the award, but Board member Cam Juarez said, “We think of him (Morado) as an employee.”
One observer questioned whether the money awarded to Morado was a “gift of public funds” since he is not an employee. Morado has been faithful to the Grijalva family for years, and they have been faithful to him.
Just last week, Sanchez strained some Phoenix area supporters’ faith in him, when he complained that the State Legislature had caused the District to consider budget cuts. Sanchez implied that Governor Ducey had robbed schools.
In May, Sanchez, not known for his candor, called Ducey a liar. He said that Ducey’s claim about “giving more money to K through 12 education,” is “It’s a half truth if even that.”
As a result of his cries of poverty last week, the contract terms presented this week shocked many in the District and took some District officials by surprise.
Table 1: Sanchez’s negotiated salary/bonus/expense contract
|4.A||Annual Base Salary||210,000||210,000||210,000||270,000||280,000|
|4.B||Salary Adjustments 6-9-2015||30,000||50,000|
|4.C||Performanced based Comp||6%||12,600||14,400||15,600||16,200||16,800|
|12||Allowances non reimburse||25,000||25,000||25,000||25,000||25,000|
|14C||Total pre incentive||247,600||279,400||300,600||311,200||321,800|
|13C||Third Year Incentive||50%||105,000|
|13C||3rd Year Adjusted||50%||25,000|
|Effect of 6-9 meeting||Increased||30,000||75,000|