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City Life: School board enhanced Hubbard's compensation mid-contract

November 22, 2011|By Steve Smith

The trustees of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District could terminate the employment of Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard today, according to the terms of his four-year contract, which is the maximum length of a contract allowed under the education code.

It would require 30 days' notice, during which time he could be placed on paid administrative leave — a process with which they are already familiar.

The process is known as an at-will termination, which means that as long as the employee is not being fired for a reason covered by a protected class — such as age, race or gender — it's OK to fire away. Hubbard's contract states the board's option to terminate is "in its complete discretion."

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According to the terms of the original contract, signed on May 16, 2006, by then-board President Dave Brooks, Hubbard as an at-will terminee would have received a lump sum payout equal to: "(i) the balance of the current monthly base salary then in effect, including compensation for professional growth and the earned doctorate for the remainder of this Agreement; or (ii) an amount equal to the current monthly base salary (paragraph 3.A.) multiplied by 12 months, whichever is lesser."

In 2006, Hubbard's base salary was $218,500. He also received 2% of his base salary, or $4,370, "to support the Superintendent's pursuit of professional growth" and 4% of his base salary, or $8,740, because he has a doctorate. As his base salary increases, so do the professional growth and doctorate awards.

Other compensation includes:

• "…an increment of up to 8% of Base Salary for performance/merit contingent upon the recommendation of the Board of Education and based upon the Superintendent's annual evaluation;…";

• A cost-of-living adjustment. "Commencing on July, 1, 2007 and each fiscal year thereafter, the Superintendent shall receive the cost-of-living adjustment provided in general to other administrative employees for subsequent years under this Agreement.";

• $750 per month for an automobile allowance; and

• $100 per month for a communications (cell phone) allowance.

Context is important here. In Irvine, for example, the superintendent has no car allowance and is not paid for having a doctorate. The cell phone and service plan are provided for the Irvine superintendent at $100 per month — $85 is paid by the district and $15 by the superintendent.

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