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LA Schools Superintendent gets Pension Spike, then Resigns

LA Schools Superintendent gets Pension Spike, then Resigns

With the Los Angeles Unified School District Board ready to fire Superintendent John Deasy, he resigned as head of the nation’s second-largest public school system just six months after he spiked his annual salary to $384,184 with $54,184 in buy-outs.

After serving just four years and four months, Deasy will be able to immediately cash out 36 days of accrued vacation for about $48,286. He will also start receiving a spiked lifetime pension of roughly $39,955 per annum from the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), about $6,000 more than a District teacher who worked for 30 years. 

The Los Angeles area beginning teacher salary is $34,000 a year. If a teacher worked for the LA School District for 30 years and is earning the average annual salary of $50,012 a year, she could retire this year with a lifetime pension of $36,009 a year.

In March 2014, Mr. Deasy talked the District into rolling a $20,000 payment for a prior employment pension the District was funding into his salary. He also was able to roll 24 days a year of vacation time he said he was always too busy to take into his salary at the rate of $1,341 a day. The impact raised his $330,000 salary to $384,184 a year.

Mr. Deasy came to the LA Schools in August of 2010 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served as Deputy Director of Education. Prior to that, he served as Superintendent of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Public Schools. Although there is no disclosure of his compensation at his prior jobs, he undoubtedly will also be receiving pensions from both organizations.  

Mr. Deasy’s tenure as Superintendent has been incredibly controversial. He championed a $1 billion-dollar expenditure on iPads from Apple Computer and Common Core curriculum from Pearson Publications. But when the program failed miserably and was suspended, Deasy received criticism over his close personal ties to both corporations due to his work at the Gates Foundation pushing Common Core. 

United Teachers Los Angeles union representatives called for Deasy to be put on leave in mid-September amid the iPad fiasco and investigation. Throughout his tenure, Deasy often sparred with the teachers’ union.

ABC Eyewitness News reported that the LAUSD Board discussed Deasy’s performance review during a closed-door session two weeks ago, and that four members were ready to vote Deasy out. Knowing that, the source says Deasy agreed to step aside and enter into negotiations for a separation agreement. With twenty months left on his contract, Deasy could also be in line to pick up another check for about $640,306.

Mr. Deasy seems to symbolize everything that is problematic about public school education in America. He was highly paid, spiked his compensation and pension in his last year, and many parents and teachers complained he was a horrible leader. But Mr. Deasy was allowed to resign just before being fired and still pick up a boat load of cash and plenty of pension benefits for the rest of his life.

Chriss Street suggests that if you are interested in California technology,
please click on
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