Superintendent making six figures from two school districts gets 10% raise

Scott Smith


The administrator who is serving as the superintendent of two North Coast school districts, and is collecting six-figure pay from each, recently received a 10 percent raise. [Tribune]

Scott Smith, the superintendent of both the Cayucos Elementary and Coast Unified school districts, now makes $220,085 a year, plus benefits. Smith’s salary is split evenly between the two districts, which after agreeing to the raise, each now pay him $110,043 annually to serve as their superintendent. Smith also receives $55 a month as a cellphone stipend. 

Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, Smith served only as the superintendent of the Cayucos Elementary School District. In that role, Smith earned a salary of $150,255.

In 2019-2020, Smith took on the dual role of being superintendent of both Cayucos Elementary and Coast Unified, with a salary of $185,000. Smith’s pay increased to $194,250 by the start of the 2020-2021 school year and to $200,077 at the beginning of the current academic year. 

Chris Castillo, a Cayucos Elementary School District board member, said Smith’s latest raise amounts to a vote of confidence by the board. Smith is doing a great job, and the board wants to make sure he stays, Castillo said. 

During a school board meeting last Wednesday, several Cayucos community members criticized Smith while speaking out against his 10 percent raise. Smith intimidated and harassed people who wore masks at school and at prior board meetings, several speakers said. Those speakers accused Smith of not doing enough to enforce the California Department of Health’s indoor mask mandate at schools. 

Additionally, some of the public commenters who spoke against Smith’s pay raise said they want to end the shared services agreement between the two school districts. Cayucos should have its own superintendent as was the case in the past, they said. 

Smith, in turn, said he will continue doing his job no matter how individuals judge him.

“Taking districts through COVID makes for a lot of difficult decisions along the way. Some of them, unfortunately, have become controversial,” Smith said. “I just want to keep serving the kids and serving the parents when possible.”