- The Washington Times - Friday, February 28, 2014

Parents of students in one California school district were astounded and outraged after learning the base salary of their district superintendent — $663,000 in 2013.

Jose Fernandez’s Centinela Valley Union High School District in Lawndale, Calif., includes three high schools and about 6,500 students, the local KCAL-TV reported.

On top of the salary, Mr. Fernandez was also recently granted a personal loan from district officials in the amount of $900,000 — with a repay term of 2 percent interest over 40 years, The Blaze reported. Moreover, the loan was granted to Mr. Fernandez after he had just wrapped bankruptcy proceedings.

Parents at an emergency school district meeting this week voiced outrage.

“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 attendee yelled during the meeting, the local broadcast station reported.

Another woman shouted: “Not only is it wrong. It’s unethical. It is immoral to pay anybody that amount,” The Blaze reported.

And one teacher, Caryn Charles, said money was so tight for her school that she had to pay for her students’ paper out of her own pocket — yet the district could afford the six-figure salary for the superintendent.

Mr. Fernandez, meanwhile, answered the angry crowd with calm.

“I do hear you,” he said, the local media outlet reported. “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.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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