Orange County Board of Education Slashes Superintendent Al Mijares’ Pay

California’s highest paid county superintendent just received a substantial pay cut.

The Orange County Board of Education voted last week to slash Superintendent Al Mijares’ annual salary by 13.7% or $48,000, the Orange County Register reports. Effective July, Mijares’ base pay will shrink from $347,625 to $300,000. With the 10% stipend given to district employees with over 30 years of experience, Mijares will take home $330,000 versus the current $382,387 a year.

The board’s conservative majority has long clashed with Mijares, even filing a lawsuit against him in 2019. That was noted by critics, who question whether the salary reduction is actually a form of retaliation. The board majority said they just want to put money back in the classrooms.

Trustee Beckie Gomez was the only board member to oppose the salary reduction. She said the board should look at its own actions if it wishes to save money. The Orange County Board of Education has spent millions of dollars on lawsuits and attorneys fees in recent years.

In addition to the pay cut, Mijares is facing his first election challenge this year. The board’s majority is backing Stefan Bean, a former charter school superintendent who currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Classical Academy. The controversial charter school uses curriculum from the conservative Hillsdale College and its Board of Directors is chaired by COVID denialist and County GOP Vice Chair Jeff Barke.

Image Credit: Orange County Department of Education