The Hesperia Unified School District Board shouldn't provide perks to the new superintendent in light of the state budget problems. Because of the budget crises in Sacramento , 54 teachers may be laid off by the district. At the same time, the board as decided to overcompensate Mark McKinney to the tune of $153,797.00 per year, with an additional $9,300 in health and welfare cost. As if that wasn't enough, the district will take care of Mr. McKinney's automobile expenses, at a cost of $850.00 per month. I'm guessing Mark won't be driving around in a Chevy Aveo Base Model, which retails for around $10,000.00. The school board felt that Mr. McKinney, at $153,797.00, won't be able to afford a cell phone, laptop computer or a home fax machine, so they provided (at taxpayer expense) all of those things. You would think that Mr. McKinney was a contestant on the Price is Right, or something.

Here in the real world, the parents of those children that Mr. McKinney's in charge of educating scrape by on about $34,000 per year. They have to pay for health benefits out of pocket and receive zero dollars for an automobile allowance. This is another example of how out of touch our government (Hesperia School Board) is with the folks who elect them and to whom they serve. If the school board feels they have to lay off 54 teachers, why not start at the top. Eliminate the $850.00 automobile allowance, and slash the $9,300 in health and welfare cost. Considering that Mark McKinney is getting paid 5 times what the average high desert resident is earning, I think he can afford to pay for these things himself, on $153,797.00.

Even in good economic times, providing cars, tax funded health and welfare benefits, fax machines, cell phones and laptop computers should be called into question considering the amount of compensation superintendents already receive. However, when 54 teachers may be laid off due to budget problems, all of these perks should be suspended until money is available to not lay off a single teacher. Making decisions like these places the education of our students on the lowest priority. Cutting teachers should be the last step the district takes, after all other means of reducing the budget have been implemented. On a personal note, we have 3 children enrolled in the Hesperia School District, while our 4th will be starting kindergarten in August.