Modesto City Schools board members voted unanimously to cut their salaries 5 percent, from $725 per month to $688.75. This was on top of a $25, or 3 percent, cut last year.
"It's not a lot for us, but I feel we need to share in the pain and the loss," board member Gary Lopez said before the vote at Monday night's meeting. "I feel we need to lead by example."
The $36.25 cut will save the district $253.75 per month for the seven board members, or $3,045 amid $33.4 million in other cuts the board has adopted for the year.
District educators are taking a 4.5 percent cut and 91 of them are being laid off to achieve $13 million in savings. Classified employees gave up a cumulative $3.75 million, which included 19 fewer jobs.
Administrators will this year get 5.5 percent less, or $2 million, through attrition, pay cuts and furlough days.
The board discussed, but did not vote on, a proposal by board member Steven Grenbeaux to change the way the board president is selected each year.
Now, the job is rotated, with no one serving twice until every member with one year's experience has served. In practice, this gives preference to newcomers. Grenbeaux suggested requiring two or three years' experience, to ensure a more seasoned president, to take effect after the current newcomers have had their turn.
Board members Cindy Marks and Nancy Cline said that in their experience it took more than one year to learn the ropes.
Board members Sue Zwahlen and Rubén Villalobos, who were elected in November, spoke against the proposal. Zwahlen said anyone who felt overwhelmed could decline. Villalobos said the change would create a "two-tier" division on the board of eligible and non-eligible members.
Kim Spina is current president.
Bee staff writer Nan Austin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339.