Salaries at Lodi Unified have a wide range, but a couple rules hold true. First, administrators make the most money. Yet teachers and classified staff can earn a pretty good salary, too, if they have the education and are willing to put in the time.
If you're a teacher, you can make as little as $37,184 to as much as $80,297 in base pay.
Overtime, as in one rare case, can put a teacher's pay up to $147,369.
If you're a member of the district's classified staff - the secretaries, bus drivers, clerks, campus supervisors and other employees that do most of the district's behind the scenes jobs - you could earn $21,984 to $83,136, depending on your job.
If you're an administrator you can make anywhere from $80,000 to nearly $200,000, depending how your place on the district's hierarchy.
Teachers are paid based on the number of years they're been teaching and how many college units they've earned past their initial degree. The number of years a teacher has been working and the amount of education he or she has can mean the difference of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.
A master's degree will earn a teacher an extra $1,000 a year and a doctorate $1,500.
Lodi Unified tries to use its salaries to lure people to the district.
"We pay competitive prices so we can get talented and qualified (people) to work in our district," said Bill Huyett, superintendent of Lodi Unified. "Frankly we have trouble doing that."
Not having a major teacher-producing university in the area makes it difficult for the district to recruit new teachers, said district officials. District officials say that University of the Pacific does produce some teachers - not near as many as California State University, Stanislaus or Sacramento, though.
Len Casanega, Lodi Unified assistant superintendent of personnel, said district staff members call around to the next seven school districts in California with higher and lower student populations than Lodi Unified to get a sampling of teacher salaries.
Casanega was recently appointed to the post of interim superintendent.
District staff also polls nearby school districts to see what their pay is like.
According to the district's information, Lodi Unified ranks near the middle in terms of compensation for its employees.
Sue Kenmotsu is the president of the Lodi Education Association, the union that represents Lodi Unified's teachers.
Kenmotsu said that looking at salaries without looking at what teachers pay for benefits can be quite misleading.
For instance, Kenmotsu said Stockton Unified School District teachers make less than Lodi Unified teachers in base pay.
The top paid teachers at Stockton Unified make $75,685, while the most experienced teachers at Lodi Unified earn $78,469, according a sampling done by Lodi Unified.
However, Kenmotsu said, those teachers that receive medical benefits through Lodi Unified pay anywhere from $3,100 to nearly $5,900 out of their pocket for medical coverage. Approximately 80 percent of teachers subscribe to district benefits.
"Stockton (Unified) salaries may appear to be lower, but their benefits are mostly paid for," Kenmotsu said.
Casanega admits that Lodi Unified's benefit package isn't great, but said that has improved over the years.
In general, Kenmotsu said teachers are underpaid considering the amount and the importance of the work they do.
Although most teachers do not make large amounts of overtime, for some, working overtime can increase their salaries by quite a bit.
Sandra Staples, who works with the visually impaired, made $147,369 during the 2006-07 school year.
That may seem like a lot, Casanega said, but Staples has a very rarefied credential, has a job that not a lot of people want and works many nights and weekends.
Education code also requires that the district employ somebody to serve children with special needs.
David Kline, spokesperson for the California Taxpayers' Association, said it's hard to make large generalizations about teachers' salaries because teachers vary so much in experience. Overall, though, Kline said California teachers have it pretty good compared to the rest of the nation.
According to the National Education Association, the U.S. average for teachers for the 2005-06 school year was $49,026. California teachers made $59,825.
"It seems California is doing right by its teachers," Kline said.
Administrators face a similar problem when it comes to benefits and how they affect salaries.
Like teacher salaries, administrator salaries are determined based on education and years of experience.
When compared to similar districts, the pay for Lodi Unified's top district officials seems competitive, according to Lodi Unified information.
However, Lodi Unified administrators' salaries include any money they would get from the district for their benefits. Administrators voted a few years ago to add any money the district would pay for benefits to their base salaries.
Lodi Unified administrators don't enjoy some of the perks that administrators at other school districts get either, such as expense accounts, cars or compensation for their mileage.
Casanega said that often times people look at what upper administrators are paid and are shocked. However, Casanega argues those administrators have a lot more responsibility and work a year-round schedule with a lot of hours.
"In negotiation people say, 'The superintendent makes that much?,'" Casanega said. "Yeah, but he's underpaid."
In the end, Huyett said, Lodi Unified tries hard to attract people and to keep them.
"It's really all decisions about how competitive you want to be," he said.
1. Bill Huyett, superintendent - $199,241
2. Odie Douglas, associate superintendent - $157,168
3. Sandra Staples, teacher - $147,369
4. Douglas Barge, chief business officer - $139,714
5. Leonard Casanega, assistant superintendent of personnel - $137,211
6. Catherine Pennington, assistant superintendent of elementary education - $137,211
7. Barbara Johnston, assistant superintendent of secondary education - $136,467
8. Catherine Conrado, administrative director of student services - $130,647
9. James Davis, principal at McNair High School - $130,174
10. Elliott Grauman, director of classified personnel - $125,909
11. Robert Rivas, principal at Liberty High School -$124,167
12. Bill Toledo, principal at Plaza Robles High School - $122,822
13. Michael McKilligan, director of certificated personnel - $121,173
14. Steve Colwell, principal at Lincoln Technical Academy - $120,955
15. Irene Outlaw, principal at Delta Sierra Middle School - $119,179
16. Deborah DeGanna, administrator - $119,165
17. Daryl Camp, principal at Bear Creek High School - $118,675
18. Bill Atterberry, principal at Lodi High School - $118,675
19. Erik Sandstrom, principal at Tokay High School - $117,675
20. John Coakley, GATE office and health curriculum coordinator - $116,123
Not included in this list are two of the highest paid district employees for the 2007-08 school year. They were not employed by Lodi Unified for the entire 2006-07 school year, so they were not included in the above list.
They are: Art Hand, assistant superintendent of facility planning, $141,019; and Mark Calonico, administrative director of curriculum, $134,734.
50 salaries from the 2007-08 school year
The following salaries and positions were selected to provide a sampling of Lodi Unified School District pay.
1. Elementary school principal - $115,324
2. Principal at a charter school - $110,718
3. High school assistant principal - $110,405
4. High school vice principal - $109,839
5. Elementary vice principal - $101,417
6. Psychologist - $98,299
7. Middle school vice principal - $93,947
8. School Nurse - $92,612
9. Risk manager - $92,369
10. Speech Therapist - $86,926
11. High school counselor - $86,926
12. Elementary school counselor - $81,239
13. Conflict management teacher - $80,297
14. Reading Recovery teacher - $80,297
15. Physical Education teacher - $80,297
16. French teacher - $80,297
17. Librarian - $80,297
18. Third-grade teacher - $76,876
19. Fifth-grade teacher - $76,876
20. Social science teacher - $76,876
21. Nutrition specialist - $72,960
22. Middle school counselor - $67,863
23. Music teacher -$62,635
24. Psychologist - $62,027
25. Accountant/budget analyst - $59,004
26. Systems analyst 1 - $55,368
27. Lead construction project specialist - $55,368
28. Cafeteria supervisor - $54,312
29. Sign language interpreter 2 - $50,376
30. Fifth-grade teacher - $49,206
31. Pool maintenance worker - $49,068
32. Payroll assistant - $48,036
33. Fire science teacher - $46,408
34. Administrative secretary - $45,828
35. Drivers' education/health science teacher - $43,770
36. School bus driver - $43,212
37. Carpenter - $43,116
38. Principal's secretary - $42,780
39. Fifth-grade teacher - $41,404
40. Locksmith - $41,052
41. Dispatcher - $40,428
42. Custodian - $39,048
43. Groundskeeper - $38,508
44. Paraeducator, special education - $36,828
45. Campus security - $35,736
46. Delivery driver - $35,496
47. Typist clerk 2 - $33,372
48. Cafeteria assistant 1 - $24,240
49. Adult crossing guard - $23,316
50. Infant/toddler care provider - $23,148