Leonardo Castañeda | inewsource
Taxpayers in the San Ysidro School District paid Superintendent Julio Fonseca, who resigned last month, at least $1 million in total compensation for 26 months of work in one of San Diego County’s poorest school districts.
inewsource is the first to detail Fonseca’s compensation from his time in San Ysidro, including two little-known perks for life insurance and health care. His salary, benefits and severance package average out to make him the highest paid school district superintendent in San Diego County and the second highest paid in California based on data from Transparent California. The nonprofit think tank compiles public employee pay and pension information.
“I think he (Fonseca) abused his power. He took the board as fools,” said school board member Rodolfo Linares, who believes he and his fellow trustees were misled last year when they approved certain benefits for the superintendent.
Linares said he wants the board to investigate how that happened and wants the district to rescind Fonseca’s nearly $376,000 separation agreement.
“I’m not going to be silent. (The) community needs to know,” Linares said. “We are board members, we were elected to protect the district and the students. And it’s our duty to investigate.”
inewsource’s attempts to reach Fonseca by phone and at his publicly listed residence were unsuccessful.
- Cumulative salary: $479,234.
- Separation agreement: $375,703.
- Deferred life insurance: $106,000.
- Gap health care coverage: $37,000.
- Mileage and cellphone: $15,600.
- One-time housing allowance: $10,000.
- Health care benefits: $45,500.
Fonseca’s compensation, excluding his pension, averaged out to about $493,000 annually. That’s significantly more than the roughly $346,000 in compensation that Transparent California said Cindy Marten made in 2016 to head the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest district in California.