HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — Members of a South Bay school district are outraged that their superintendent made more last year than the President of the United States.

Jose Fernandez, the superintendent of the Centinela Valley Union High School district, brought in a total compensation of $663,000, as first reported by The Daily Breeze and the Los Angeles News Group.

“This isn’t a rich business we’re running. This is educating low-income students,” said Jack Foreman, president of the Centinela Valley Secondary Teachers Association. “We’re hoping, at the very least, to renegotiate this contract.”

The district is a rather small one, made up of three mainstream high schools and approximately 6,600 students.

“That’s very unfair,” said Maria Andrade, whose daughter’s school resides in the district.

At school district headquarters, CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Dave Bryan tried to speak to Assistant Superintendent Bob Cox about the situation. He offered no comment.

Several teachers at Hawthorne High School said they wouldn’t discuss the case for fear of retaliation from the district.

But, privately, comparisons are being made to the salary scandal in the City of Bell, where the former mayor and several ex-council members allegedly looted the city treasury to pay themselves six-figure salaries.

“The talk around the school district is that this is similar to the Bell situation, yes,” Foreman said.

Bryan reports that there was supposed to be a school board meeting in Hawthorne Tuesday but it was suddenly rescheduled for March.


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