Jan Britz

Jan Britz, the new superintendent of Burbank Unified Public Schools at Burbank High School's graduation at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

Newly appointed Burbank Unified Supt. Jan Britz will earn a starting salary of $185,250, nearly $50,000 less than that of her predecessor, according to the terms of her contract released by the district this week.

The Burbank Unified school board announced on May 25 that Britz, previously assistant superintendent of instructional services, would replace outgoing Stan Carrizosa.

Carrizosa was hired by the district in 2010 with a starting salary of $235,000. At the time, the school board took heat for what some considered excessively high compensation, said President Debbie Kukta. But Carrizosa brought with him years of experience as a superintendent, she said.

“We were really criticized for Stan’s salary because it was significantly more than Kevin Jolly’s and Greg Bowman’s,” Kukta said, referring to two proceeding superintendents. “But you kind of pay for what you get, and superintendent salaries are very competitive.”

Britz, on the other hand, is not yet a proven superintendent, Kukta said.

“What we did is split the difference between what she was making as an assistant superintendent and what Stan was making,” Kukta said.

Britz cited the difference in experience and the district’s budget shortfall for her substantially smaller salary.

“We are always trying to be more conservative,” Britz said.

Her one-year contract does include a total monthly allowance of $500 for cellphone and automobile costs.

The newly minted superintendent started with Burbank Unified in 2006 as head of secondary education and testing. She later oversaw elementary education, human resources, child care development and student services. Most recently she served as assistant superintendent of instructional services.

Officials said that the leadership change has been a smooth one.

“I think that Jan is going to do a great job,” school board member Larry Applebaum said. “She has a really good, solid team in place.”

The recently approved contract is good for one year, after which time the school board can chose to increase her salary, Kukta said.

“Jan loves Burbank,” Kukta said. “She is really dedicated to the school district. I think she will prove herself, and the board, at their discretion, will definitely take a look at her salary. As she continues to grow, that will be rewarded.”