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News Update

With 110 days off per year, Ontario-Montclair superintendent the highest paid in California

James Hammond, superintendent of Ontario-Montclair School District in San Bernardino County, is the highest-paid schools chief in the state, thanks to generous time-off policies and other perks that boost his pay to more than half a million dollars a year, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Hammond earned $562,000 in 2019, more than twice the average salary for superintendents in similar-size districts, according to the newspaper. His base pay was $320,000, but perks such as life insurance, retirement contributions, 85 days of sick time and 25 vacation days boosted his salary. He also receives lifetime health insurance for himself and his family, and 12 months’ severance pay for any termination aside from “major malfeasance,” according to the report.

School board President Elvia Rivas defended Hammond’s pay. “It is a fringe benefit which is designed to provide security in the event of sickness and to incentivize both wellness and longevity,” Rivas told the newspaper. “Students and school systems genuinely suffer from superintendent turnover. After finding the right leader for OMSD, the Board elected to structure Dr. Hammond’s compensation in a way that provided financial incentives for him to stay in OMSD and prevent the frequent turnover in the superintendent’s position that occurs in many urban school districts.”