Superintendent Steven Enoch didn't have to turn down a 5 percent raise. It was in his contract, and he'd met the performance requirements to have earned it.
And while $12,000 is a drop in the bucket for the district, which spends millions every year on pay for teachers and staff, Enoch said it just wasn't the right time for a pay increase.
"Here we are in a financial crisis that is deeply worrying, that is affecting our staff and our students, and I just thought that if I was to accept that, my message about the crisis that we face and my words would be covered up by my actions," he said. "It seems a bit trite, but actions speak louder than words."
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District's (SRVUSD)board of education affirmed that Enoch met the performance requirements that qualified him for a 5 percent longevity increase effective July 1. Under Enoch's contract, if he is rated "above satisfactory" he qualifies for a 5 percent salary increase at the start of every fourth year of his contract.
The board also voted unanimously to extend Enoch's employment contract to June 30, 2013. The one year extension was approved at the Board workshop on April 20, 2011.
Enoch said funding for the district remains in limbo, with little new information available until the May revise, and hard details that won't be available until the state passes its budget for the upcoming year.
He said the district faces cuts that range from $10 million on the low side to potentially more than $20 million.
Enoch said SRVUSD has been very conservative with its budgeting and may get some help from a projected 500 new students by the start of the coming school year -- what he calls the growth bonus -- which should help offset some cuts, at least in the short term.
And while the district is in negotiations with its unions, he said that wasn't the reason for turning down the pay hike.
"I think hopefully it's a message that we all need to make sacrifices. I didn't do it directly linked to bargaining," Enoch said. "I did it because it was the right thing to do."