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    LBUSD Board of Education Extends Contract With Sup't Steinhauser To June 2010

    (June 22, 2006) -- The LB Unified School District governing board has voted 5-0 to extend the contract of Superintendent Chris Steinhauser by nearly two additional years to June 19, 2010.

    The action at the Board's June 20 meeting extends Superintendent Steinhauser's contract beyond its September 2008 expiration with the same annual base pay ($202,474) plus pay increases received by other district employees (including a 4% raise retroactive to July 1/05 and a 6% raise effective July 1/06 plus career longevity stipends received by other employees). In all, his salary for the next school year will total $225,708.

    In a memorandum accompanying the agenda item, LBUSD boardmembers Jim Choura and Felton Williams recommended the action, writing in part:

    Superintendent Steinhauser has continued to improve the services provided by the school district...Our children are succeeding academically far beyond what might statistically be expected of them. Community support for local schools has never been stronger, and families throughout the school district have first class school facilities and the finest in academic programs for their children. Continuity in effective leadership is beneficial to the entire community and Chris Steinhauser has shown that he has the ability to bring about nationally recognized academic improvement in our schools, and to do so under challenging circumstances.

    The action was one of the final votes for LBUSD boardmember Jim Choura...who exits in mid-July after a reelection defeat at the hands of one of three candidates fielded districtwide by the Teachers Association of Long Beach (TALB). In the recently-concluded election cycle, TALB -- which has been highly critical of LBUSD management under Steinhauser -- won two seats on the five-member board, one short of a majority but likely to produce disagreements and decibels on what had previously been a mainly quiescent School Board.

    In April, Michael Ellis outpolled School Board president Suja Lowenthal...who filed for reelection to the School Board but following the surprise resignation of 2d district Councilman Dan Baker (and too late to remove her name from the School Board ballot) pursued the Council seat in a June special election...and won; Ellis will take office in mid-July. Schoolboard incumbent Mary Stanton was reelected, edging out TALB-backed challenger Jim Deaton.

    Just days after TALB-backed David Barton beat Schoolboard incumbent Jim Choura on June 6 (giving TALB its second School board seat), LBUSD management and the union came to terms on a new contract for teachers. TALB described the deal as worth roughly 11% for the first 2 years, salary to be bargained for in the 3rd year while maintaining fully paid health care for all 3 years ("one of the best salary and benefits settlements in the entire state so far for 05-06 & 06-07," TALB said.

    And in a post-election emailing, TALB indicated it plans to target at least one, and perhaps two, more Schoolboard incumbents for defeat in 2008. "[W]e need to make sure we limit the Superintendent to 2 rubber-stamps on the school board (he had 5, now he has only 3, by April 2008 we need to make sure has 1-2 less)," says the TALB-emailed editorial.

    Superintendent Steinhauser was typically upbeat following Board action to extend his contract. "It is a privilege to continue the important work of helping all students to obtain a top-notch education," he said in a release. "I thank our Board and our community. Together, we have come a long way, but there is more work ahead."

    In a written release, LBUSD said that during Superintendent Steinhauser's years as Deputy Superintendent, "students in all major racial and ethnic groups throughout the district made unprecedented gains on rigorous state tests. After his first two years as Superintendent, Steinhauser's contract was extended in December 2004, to September of 2008." LBUSD adds that it is CA's 3rd largest school district...and many superintendents statewide command larger salaries even though their school districts are smaller.

    Superintendent Steinhauser is a nearly quarter-century veteran of LBUSD. Starting as a teacher at a LB inner-city elementary school, Steinhauser progressed up the ranks to school principal and eventually Deputy Superintendent in 1999 before his unanimous appointment (succeeding Carl Cohn) as Superintendent in 2002.

    Superintendent Steinhauser is a product of LBUSD, attending continuously from Kindergarten through Wilson High (class of '77). He then attended CSULB, earning a B.A. in liberal studies and an M.A. in educational administration, as well as multiple-subject and administrative services credentials at the university.

    At the June 20 LBUSD Boardmeeting, LBCC Superintendent-President Jan Kehoe made a surprise announcement that Steinhauser will be inducted into LBCC's Hall of Fame in October. "I'm very honored and can't thank the community enough," Steinhauser said at the public meeting. "I was the first in my family to graduate from college, and I'm very proud of the fact that I went to City College. One of the reasons I'm here today is because of the fine people at LBCC."

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