San Diego School Superintendent Apologizes for CFO's "Factual Errors" - NBC 7 San Diego
Education Nation

Education Nation

A solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America

San Diego School Superintendent Apologizes for CFO's "Factual Errors"

Dobbs made several remarks that one board member said “insulted just about everyone in the district, at all levels”



    Days after the chief financial officer for the San Diego Unified School District was quoted as saying the cash-strapped district had “hundreds of excess employees”, San Diego’s school superintendent apologized.

    On Monday, SDUSD Superintendent Bill Kowba apologized for statements made by CFO Stan Dobbs in an interview that was published in full by voiceofsandiego Friday.

    "His interview offered his own candid assessment of the financial condition of the district," Kowba wrote, "Unfortunately it also includes several factual errors and misstatements that need correction."

    “The public needs to know that this district does not have hundreds of excess staff who are not serving our students,” Kowba said.

    New CFO Misspeaks on Teacher Salaries

    [DGO] New CFO Misspeaks on Teacher Salaries
    San Diego Unified School District's new chief financial officer Stan Dobbs gave an interview to media partner Voice of San Diego and provided misinformation, according to board president John Lee Evans.
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013)

    Read Kowba's full statement here

    In talking with our media partner voiceofsandiego, Dobbs, who has been employed by the district for 60 days, discussed how he felt the district could better balance its budget.

    He spoke about transparency and about providing budgets people could understand and follow where tax dollars go.

    SD Explained: SDUSD Contract

    [DGO] SD Explained: SDUSD Contract
    The teachers union has ratified a new contract with San Diego Unified School District to save hundreds of teachers' jobs. Catherine Garcia reports with Voice of San Diego. Get more from here.
    (Published Thursday, June 28, 2012)

    But, in giving specifics, Dobbs stepped on some toes.

    Dobbs made several remarks that one board member said “insulted just about everyone in the district, at all levels.”

    In the audio-taped interview, Dobbs told the news website that there are hundreds of excess employees – “everywhere” and no documented proof smaller class size improves learning.

    SD Explained: Prop 30

    [DGO] SD Explained: Prop 30
    Voice of San Diego editor Scott Lewis and NBC 7 anchor Catherine Garcia explain the passage of Proposition 30, a tax increase the governor said was crucial to balance the budget and prevent billions in cuts to education. Get more from here.
    (Published Monday, Jan. 21, 2013)

    Kowba addressed these points saying “ Stan is incorrect when he stated that there is no research about the importance of class sizes. On the contrary, there is a body of research
    supporting smaller class sizes…”

    Of Dobbs’ excess employees remark, Kowba wrote “I can only surmise that Stan was referring to our stated need to reduce staffing levels as part of our budget reduction strategy for 2013/14.”

    Among the claims Dobbs made in the interview was that the average teacher salary was $92,000 a school year to which he added that it was “ridiculous” that employees do not contribute to the cost of benefits.

    “Out of 14, almost 17,000 people, that you’re playing 100 percent of all their benefits, their spouses, their kids and anyone else put in there. In 2013, that’s ridiculous,” he told the voiceofsandiego.

    Read the voiceofsandiego interview here

    “I was surprised by some of the things that were said particularly this idea that San Diego has hundreds of employees it does not need,” said SDUSD President John Lee Evans.

    Evans sought to clarify what he called misinformation. For example, he said the average teacher salary is $65-$70,0000 plus benefits.

    While Evans would not say whether he felt the CFO acted irresponsibly, he did say employment issues are up to the superintendent.

    “I will leave it up to him to make any comments about his employees and any actions he wants to take,” Evans said.

    The president of the teachers union said the inaccuracies made teachers look greedy. He said Dobbs stopped by his office Monday to apologize for his comments.

    As to what Dobbs has to say for himself, NBC 7 San Diego was told by the district he was not available for comment.