Trustees for the San Antonio Independent School District voted to give Superintendent Pedro Martinez an additional 5% raise Monday.
Combined with the across-the-board 3% raise trustees gave all employees in June, Martinez will receive about $23,000 more for the 2019-2020 school year.
Before the vote, Board President Patti Radle said the raise was the board’s idea.
“We have a motion and a second to give this salary raise to a humble man who basically asks for nothing,” Radle said.
Teacher union president Shelley Potter said the decision was “tone deaf” and hurts morale ahead of the new school year.
“I believe as a leader you should never take a salary increase that’s higher than the people you are leading,” Potter said.
The superintendent’s salary for the coming school year will be around $315,000, surpassing former North East ISD superintendent Brian Gottardy's salary to become the second highest in Bexar County.
According to data from the Texas Education Agency, only Northside Superintendent Brian Woods made more during the 2018-2019 school year.
In an email Tuesday, Radle said that trustees wanted to recognize the "transformative" work Martinez was doing to improve the district's academic performance.
"Our board reviewed the salaries for over 30 different school districts in Texas with the hope of giving a salary that reflected the intensity of the challenges to make such remarkable imrpovements in a district such as SAISD," Radle said. "We wanted it to reflect the level of appreciation, respect and dignity for the work being done in SAISD."