Larry Chavez's pay as the next superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools is going up.

The Santa Fe Board of Education voted unanimously during its finance subcommittee meeting Thursday to increase Chavez's salary to $175,000 when he takes over as the district superintendent July 1. Chavez, the district's associate superintendent for athletics/activities and school support, was selected over five other finalists for the position, including three members of outgoing Superintendent Veronica García's administrative staff.

The board announced Saturday that Chavez's salary would be $150,000, but reconvened in executive session Thursday to discuss his salary and made the adjustment. Chavez's one-year contract will be for the 2021-22 school year.

Board President Kate Noble said the change was made once members had a better understanding of comparable superintendent salaries for a school district Santa Fe's size. García earned $180,000 in her first year with the district in 2016-17.

"As a flagship district in a high-cost area and a competitive superintendent market, the board has agreed it needs to be more in line with the pay in other districts," Noble said.

(6) comments

Joshua Rosen

It would be nice if all educators could be afforded the same opportunity to have a higher salary negotiated and changed after being hired.

Mark Ortiz

First of all, I do wish Mr. Chavez the best. Secondly, I don’t know the qualifications of all of the folks who I’ll be referencing in the following post. I think we can all agree that the optics look pretty bad. I’m sure we all have various degrees of approval and disappointment but what would surprise me is that any of us are surprised. I have a feeling that Kate and the board knew, regardless of who they chose, were going to be unanimously award the $175K. Remember, Mr. Chavez was awarded a one-year deal. I’ll tell you this, IF I made $175K annually I’d bet any of you $10K that whether Mr. Chavez is awarded an extended contract or if they replace him, that contract will be more than $175K.

This happens in all of government and imho, It’s pure BS. I have no solution except we must pay attention and be relentless in holding our elected officials accountable.

Some recent examples;

Allan Mayor Webber became our first full time Mayor. We all thought hey, one person, one job and then almost immediately he went about increasing the Mayor’s office staff because he needed to pay lots of people to help him do his full-time job.

The City Manager’s salary was increased healthily before Jarel LePan served even one day in that seat.

New Mexico Lottery Authority CEO David Barden who called for lower payouts, was given a 26% raise to $220K.

Current Governor’s objected to Barden’s behavior strangely after she had given 17% raises to incoming cabinet secretaries and before she handed out 15% raises to 8 staff of her well-paid staff, during the pandemic. Tafoya Lucero’s position as Sec. of Corrections started at $150K, up from her predecessor’s salary of $131K.

In 5 years, the Chief of Staff for the PRC has gone from $90K to $150K, that now being paid to the recently hired dirtbag Wayne Propst who was sued for approving he and his staff's own raises when they ran PEREA. To be clear, this swamp creature was awarded a “promotion” for his behavior to be the PRC new Chief of Staff.

If we are given a reason, though many times not, it’s that we must be competitive with other district/cities/states of the same size. Ok. BTW, $550K median home price and Santa Fe cost of living has nothing to do with it? Right.

Andrew Lucero

I’m in 100% agreement with all the posters thus far… It’s astonishing that we can find the money to give a raise to an administrator (who hasn’t even done anything yet). But our teachers are still paid a pittance… I’m all for performance-based raises, but this is ridiculous and very premature. Don’t even think about asking for another bond.

Chris Mechels

How about waiting until he has some record of performance to justify the raise?

Is paying for performance a difficult concept??

Joe Fuentes

Since there is so much money for high salaries quit asking for tax payers to pass school bonds. It’s terrible for teachers to be so underpaid and you pay one person this much money.

Jitty Bap

Oh my God, will you please apply that same logic to your first-year teachers. It’s incredibly difficult to live decently in Santa Fe for the net 2 grand you get.

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