Beaverton school superintendent mum on raise

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Beaverton's school district superintendent declined Monday to speak about accepting a pay increase after the school board unanimously approved his 4 percent raise last week.

Some parents are outraged Superintendent Jeff Rose got the raise shortly after voters approved a tax increase in an effort to bring some of the hundreds of laid off teachers back to the classroom.

The raise goes into effect starting next month, boosting Rose's salary to $193,000 a year.

Rose didn't return emails or phone calls Monday and his spokesperson said "it is inappropriate for him to talk about this."

Rose's raise comes after the board gave him a stellar evaluation despite the huge budget shortfall, overcrowded classes and massive teacher layoffs.

"I think he deserves it," said Beaverton School Board Chair LeeAnn Larsen on Monday. "We want to keep him in line with where salaries are in the district and throughout the state, and we think he's earned it."

She laid out Rose's strong points that included: lobbying to get money for all Oregon schools and advising Gov. John Kitzhaber. She also said he's maintained the graduation rate in Beaverton.

But Chris Johnsen, who has four kids in the district, is angry about the raise.

"They have classrooms where they have to share books. They can't take them home to do homework, and so again, why is he getting a raise when these things aren't being addressed first?" Johnsen said.

Johnsen started a Facebook page in protest of Rose's raise.

The $8,000 raise will come out of a $300 million operating budget, not the tax levy. Those tax dollars specifically will be used to hire back 150 teachers - about half the positions that were cut last year.

Rose did not take a raise last year.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith makes $190,000 a year. She hasn't accepted a raise since becoming superintendent 7 years ago.