Burbank’s School Board has called for a special meeting this Thursday morning at 8:30 in the District Office Boardroom to discuss Superintendent Dr. Matt Hill’s performance evaluation.
It is the only item on the agenda and will be held in a closed session. This is not unusual when discussing an employee evaluation, and it is unknown what exactly will be discussed. By law, however, any decisions or actions taken during that meeting must be reported in the public meeting afterward.
It is not known why the meeting did not take place in the evening as usual but with the meeting being held at 8:30 am which is a more difficult time for many working members of the public to attend for public comment. With Hill’s new contract at possible issue, it is not known if the Board wanted to keep a lower profile, especially with two members up for re-election in November, or if it just fits better into the Board Members’ personal schedule.
Besides showing up to the meeting to speak at 8:30 am, the public can also participate virtually and should sign up at this link: https://forms.gle/KaWBjNLBDf5r7rQR6 before 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6. There are full instructions on the agenda that can be found here.
Back on May 5, a new contract for Hill was on the agenda but was pulled off at the last minute without explanation.
Hill was seeking a new contract although he is already under contract to District until June 30, 2023, and yet this new contract will pay him retroactively from the start of the school year in 2021.
According to Transparent California, in 2020 Hill received $250,669.92 in salary and $63,380.55 in benefits which comes to $314,050.47. Compare that with Governor Gavin Newsom who made $196,164.62 and $278,560.74 with benefits.
The new retroactive contract calls for a base salary of $260,642.00 plus other benefits in a contract that is to expire in June of 2025.
This comes at a time that the district is in a desperate financial situation along with declining enrollment. They also have many job openings with several Principals leaving the District for other jobs.
Washington Elementary Principal Brandi Young has resigned to take over Vista Elementary School in Simi Valley. Jennifer Kaitz left Emerson Elementary as Principal earlier this year to become Principal at Atherwood Elementary School, also in Simi Valley. Both former Burbank Principals joined former Burbank High Principal, then BUSD Administrator Hani Youssef in Simi Valley. Dr. Youssef left the BUSD in 2015 for the Simi Valley Administration and then was later named Superintendent of the District.
There have also been other Principals leaving from Burbank High School, Monterey High School, Burbank Adult School, and Dolores Huerta Middle School.
As of June 27, Burbank still had 83 job openings with school scheduled to start in August. Compare that to Glendale (35) and Pasadena (37) shows Burbank with twice as many vacancies.
Although Hill was hired with no teaching experience, he was supposed to spearhead the District’s attempt to pass a bond measure. There have been two failed attempts by the district at securing funds through a parcel tax. Measure QS failed in November 2018 and Measure I also failed in March 2020. It was thought at the time if they had put the measure on the November ballot instead of the March ballot because of a larger voter turnout, that it would have had a better chance of succeeding but the district did not want to wait and suffered the defeat.