Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Rick Miller

Rick Miller, the SAUSD’s Superintendent, pulls down over $363K in pay and benefits per year, according to Transparent California. To put that into perspective consider that President Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, barely makes more than Miller, at $395K a year, according to PayWizard. And the median household income in Santa Ana is just over $53K, according to the U.S. Census. That means that Miller makes almost seven times what most Santa Ana households earn.

So Miller got paid, big time.  But he is dragging his heels about paying his teachers even though the SAUSD has a twenty million dollar surplus.  They are also blowing 24 million a year on consultants!

Many of the local teachers tell me their benefits are awful and they have to pay hundreds every month for those benefits.  Meanwhile the SAUSD School Board members get free health insurance on top of their substantial stipend.

Here’s what folks need to remember – the teachers are the ones actually doing the teaching.  The SAUSD administrators and consultants don’t teach our kids.  Neither do the School Board Members.

Reportedly the teachers got a raise last year after eight years of no raises and a pay cut in between.  They want a raise again – and point out the fact that teachers in Santa Ana make less than most teachers in other Orange County school districts.

The teachers’ union, the SAEA, is making no headway with Miller and the SAUSD School Board.  The SAEA recently announced in one of their newsletters that “After today’s bargaining session, it was made clear to us that the School Board has limited the District’s Bargaining Team’s ability to bargain salaries. Therefore, after 15 bargaining sessions, SAEA has declared Impasse and will file with PERB this afternoon.”

The SAEA is asking teachers and their supporters to show up at the SAUSD School Board meeting on Oct. 13, 2015, at 3:30 pm to ask the School Board to support their plea for a pay increase.

Remember that our teachers work in awful circumstances here in Santa Ana, in often crowded classrooms that are under-supplied.  Many teachers use their own money to buy supplies!  Only 36% of our kids are literate – which must be very difficult to deal with.  And many households in Santa Ana are poor and don’t have access to computers.  Moreover many of these households are led by parents who don’t speak much English or by single parents.

We have a lot of great teachers in this community.  If the SAUSD wants to make cuts let them start with their administrators’ bloated salaries and the millions they blow on consultants.  And they should cut the SAUSD School Board members benefits as well.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

17 thoughts on “The SAUSD’s bloated administrators are sticking it to their teachers”
  1. The district has been fair to those who work in the District and now it’s time for Santa Ana Unified School District to be fair to the low income students in Santa Ana. Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) money was given to Santa Ana Unified School District to close the achievement gap. Low income families in Santa Ana did not get a raise after the 2008 recession and need that extra support.

    You forgot to post the teacher’s salary.

    1. How is not treating the teachers well fair to the students? Why are you blaming the teachers for problems caused by the SAUSD administration?

      1. Do you know why the fundamentals “succeed” so much more? They don’t allow ELD students, and they REQUIRE parent involvement. So they succeed by removing students struggling with English and those with parents who can’t be involved. It’s segregation and charter schools only promote that!

        1. This reminds me of the highly “successful” private schools that boast about their student scores and high college attendance. Of course they can show these statistics when, as soon as a student doesn’t conform to the program or achieve high grades they are asked to leave. The remaining students are handpicked.

        2. The fundamental schools in Santa Ana have created an unfair two-tiered system in which students with resources are favored over students without. The real discriminatory factor in the two-tier school system in SAUSD is that the fundamental schools are all built on the outskirts of Santa Ana, and require students who live fair away from those schools to provide their own transportation. This “fundamental” school system makes the neighborhood schools inherently inferior.Those students with parents that can provide transportation or live more advantaged areas of the city are pooled together in the fundamental schools. To get into a fundamental school students with siblings previously enrolled have the edge over everyone else who has to enter a lottery.

  2. I would be more inclined to see your argument for improved teacher wages if your article contained sources and actual data. Frankly I was so put off by your poor communication style and lack of verifiable evidence (other the Superintendent salary) that I find myself suspicious of your motives and personal agenda. Any numbers you include you should be able to source – unless you made them up. The consultants names are easy to identify on the Secretary of States Website and numerous other online sources. There is no excuse for bad journalism.

  3. Teacher salaries include ALL legally mandated costs for the school district including unemployment insurance, disability insurance, workmen’s compensation insurance, pension contributions, health benefits, etc…and excuse me. Who is putting a price tag on a child’s education? You want to work as a teacher? Go to college, get a credential, pay 9% into your pension, have 100k in college loan debt, pay $1000 in health care costs and spend $1000 a year for classroom supplies and earn a starting salary of $50,000. 90% of the public admires teachers. They get it.

  4. Angie Cano’s stench is all over these comments. It’s such a good thing she failed her school board race. What does someone with no professional background in education know? Nothing! I’m sure her teachers at Segerstrom and UCI are embarrassed of her ingratitude and ignorance at this point.

  5. Calling out SAUSD’s “bloated” administrators?? Shame on you! Body shaming is never acceptable!! This article should be titled “Facts: An Inconvenient Truth”. After reading this post I felt like I had stumbled onto Fox News’ website; so much misinformation and distortion of the facts. There are ALWAYS two sides to every story…How much is the Teacher’s union asking for? I’m sure that might explain why after 15 bargaining sessions both parties were unable to find some common ground and move forward. Yes, Teacher’s should be paid more for all they do but this post reeks of unashamed political posturing under the guise of “let’s do what’s right for the kids”. Poor SAUSD Parents and students, once again the pawns in someone’s poorly thought out and executed game of chess.

    Mr. Miller’s TOTAL compensation package is not out of line with what others at his level in public service earn, which by the way, pales in comparison to what the leader of an organization of SAUSD’s size would earn in the private sector. If we want to improve our public schools, our District has to be able to attract high-caliber and experienced administrators, teachers, support personnel, etc. This is a no-brainer. And while Teachers are on the front-lines teaching students, most administrators came up through the classroom and have made lifelong commitments to improving the public school system; having toiled away for years in the classroom, advanced their own education, etc. To diminish the work they perform in support of SAUSD students, is in poor taste and proof of personal bias.

    Also, how would a salary increase solve any of the problems mentioned in the second to last paragraph? That seems like another discussion altogether. Again, not arguing against raises, but this point is unrelated. And what cuts are you talking about towards the end? Is the District proposing salary or some other type of cuts? I’d also disagree that benefits are awful. Most everyone who works pays hundreds for health benefits per month. Public school employees have it better than most in the private sector due to higher contribution rates from districts, but this is case specific and depends on plan selection, etc. You can’t paint with broad strokes when all you have is anecdotal evidence from a small sample size (Statistics 101). Lastly, according to the Sacramento Bee, in 2014, SAUSD ranked 14th in average Teacher Salary in Orange County, below most other OC unified districts (source:

    Get your facts straight and stop spreading misinformation. It’s a disservice to our community and does nothing to advance the conversation.

    1. We were referring to the administrators’ salaries and the top heavy nature of the administration. The money should be spent in the classroom not in the bureaucracy.

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