Seattle School Board members issued a vote of confidence in the district's top administrator Wednesday night, approving a five percent raise and a one-year contract extension for Superintendent Larry Nyland by a 6-1 vote.
But Nyland surprised the board room by saying he would donate the amount of this year's increase in his base salary — more than $13,800 in total — back to Seattle Public Schools' general fund.
Though Nyland committed earlier this month to giving back half of his raise, more than 40 parents wrote letters urging him not to accept the raise at all.
The board's approval of the contract extension was designed to send ensure stability in Seattle Public Schools' central office, which before Nyland had seen four superintendents come and go during the last decade.
Board documents warned a refusal to grant the contract extension would "signal [the superintendent's] likely departure in 18 months and this could create organizational and senior leadership instability."
Board member Betty Patu was the lone vote against the increase. "Conflicted" board member Sue Peters gave a lengthy statement from the dais, saying district leadership is "not what it could be and not what it should be" before voting to approve the motion.
Nyland's annual base salary is now more than $289,800, and his contract as Seattle Public Schools superintendent extends through the 2017-18 school year. The increase to his base salary is retroactive to Sept. 1, district officials said.
District officials did not know the total value of Nyland's compensation package.