Among all the K-12 administrators in the state, a Southern California school district head earns the highest for three straight days as he grabs several advantages, like the one that permits him to turn his 85-day sick time to cash.
The Southern California News Group on Sunday reported that Ontario-Montclair School District Superintendent James Hammond got $167, 596 in extra compensation after he cashed out his 110 total leave days, including the 25-day vacation leave. He did the same thing last year, which made him earn $152, 360 of the 100 of the 105 days he accumulated, ABC7 reported.
Including his benefits’ value, Hammond does not routinely get more than $600, 000 annual total compensation, despite that his base pay is about half of the amount.
Hammond got a $561, 748 salary in 2019, which exceeds more than two-fold the state average for school district superintendents.
Sick time was included in Hammond’s contract, which goes up by five days annually.
Ontario-Montclair has compensated him an additional $739, 859 in total for 522 days of leave out of the 665 he has accumulated since July 2015. This leaves him a total of 243 days that he can use or save.
The school head said he does not regard the cash as extra pay.
“My fringe benefit of sick leave allows me the flexibility to consider accruing unused sick leave, or cashing out, my annual allocation of sick leave,” Hammond wrote in an email. He also assured that the school board and its legal personnel have completely reviewed his contracts.
This was agreeable to Board President Elvia Rivas who said that Hammond’s high pay and incentives permitted the district to have its superintendent stay longer as compared to other districts.
“It is a fringe benefit which is designed to provide security in the event of sickness and to incentivize both wellness and longevity,” Rivas said.