San Luis Coastal to help its top exec buy a home

December 20, 2016
Eric Prater

Eric Prater

The San Luis Coastal Unified School District is giving its superintendent a $950,000 loan to buy a home. San Luis Coastal’s school board unanimously approved the loan at a meeting last week.

However, some teachers and members of the public question whether the under rate loan is a gift of public funds at a time the district is increasing class sizes to save money.

Superintendent Eric Prater, who makes a base salary of about $215,000 and receives nearly $300,000 a year in total pay, will receive a fixed-rate, 30 year loan from the district. The loan has a 2.6  percent rate that matches the federal interest rate for long term investments for Dec. 2016.

Nevertheless, on Thursday, federal loan agency Freddie Mac issued a report stating the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.16. The Wall Street Journal reported the average “plain-vanilla,” 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.38 percent on Thursday.

Mortgage rates surged by .76 percentage points since Election Day, according to the Wall Street Journal report. Mortgage rates are expected to keep rising, due in part to the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates. The Fed raised the federal-funds target rate on Wednesday, just hours after the district approved Prater’s loan.

The loan will also allow Prater to avoid making a down payment on a house.

By issuing the loan, San Luis Coastal intends to guarantee Prater will remain with the district for the long-term. But, it only mandates that Prater stay with the district until June 30, 2021, and it contains an opt-out clause allowing Prater to leave before then if he pays the principal and interest within two years of his departure.

District officials say, with Diablo Canyon Power Plant due to close in 2024-2025, San Luis Coastal needs to maintain strong and stable leadership. The school board also wants to reward Prater for delivering a successful 2014 bond measure and for negotiating a $36 million settlement deal with PG&E.

San Luis Coastal will lose about $8 million a year from the Diablo Canyon closure.

Prater told other media that he had been renting, and his landlord is selling the home in which he has been living. Prater wants to own a home in the San Luis Obispo area, but he says the housing market is incredibly challenging.

In 2015, Prater received $295,064 in total compensation, according to Transparent California. His earnings significantly increased from the previous year in which he received $236,555 in total pay.

From 2014 to 2015, Prater’s base salary increased from $191,730 to $211,053. His benefits rose from $27,150 to $65,315.

Additionally, Prater regularly receives about $15,000 to $20,000 a year in money classified as “other pay.” That could include bonuses, incentive pay and car allowances.

Prater’s renegotiated contract states he is entitled to approximately $50,000 in raises and tax-deferred savings over the next five years. Prater is foregoing the money, but instead he is entitled to receive a $50,000 write-off on his mortgage, if he remains superintendent until July 2021.

Kaiser Bill

Sorry, but Eric Prater could be easily replaced from within the San Luis Coastal District by any of his deputy Superintendents. Why? Because this is an attractive area to live in, which makes it easy to hire well qualified educators. The local school administrators in this county aside from Paso (which has severe gang problems brought on by the wineries importing migrant workers) don’t have much to do other than make sure the bills are being paid and the law is followed.

This is a school district that cried poor last month and lobbied the State and PG&E for an extra $12 million to mitigate the closure of Diablo Canyon. It must be nice for Eric Prater to get a small loan of a million dollars not from his father but from the school district taxpayers and PG&E ratepayers of California.

Those living within the San Luis Coastal School District should not accept such gross malfeasance of public funds. Resident of San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Avila Beach and Palisades, I would advise a recall effort against the entire school board with the goal of stronger fiscal oversight and replacement of the current Superintendent Eric Prater.


YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK…Otherwise known as waste, fraud, and abuse.


Jesus. Oh well, it’s only other people’s money right?


Fire the bum he is scamming the system.


This Is Just The Reason Professional Tax Payers Left the State What are You People on ? ARE you on Dope?


Thank God for the union, right? They got the Lucia Mar teachers a nice huge raise…while their schools are crumbling from neglect.

They “negotiated” a $300K paycheck for someone, that doesn’t teach. Now, they’ve managed to get him a magical loan (magical, because for the rest of us, only a fairy Godmother couold pull it off) for a house he could easily afford with his $300K.

So proud of the union. We should all thank the union for driving the schools into the expensive crapholes they are becoming.

I can’t wait for Diablo to shut down, to see how much of a raise the Super will get!


Uh, you are aware that the Union is for teachers, not administrators, right? Prater would be on the other side of the bargaining table trying to limit pay and benefits during union negotiations.

That presents a different problem. How does someone getting that high a salary with those types of benefits convince teachers making 25% or so of his pay that they don’t deserve a raise or other special benefits. They are going to think that they deserve something more if the SLUSD can afford to pay him that much — and they may be right.

By the way, you’re rather misinformed about the source of most of the problems with our schools. While the retirement benefits negotiated by the unions are a problem, most of the other problems come from other sources — such as ridiculously bureaucratic requirements for operations and the numerous overpaid bureaucrats “needed” to administer them.


How can this not be considered “a gift of public funds” which is prohibited by the California Constitution?


this whole ‘ we must retain’ thing is out of hand. do a good job and you will be. guy knows himself he’d rather be here than in some big city for more dollars.

absolutely ridiculous on so many levels.


This deal really casts doubt on the competency of both Prater and the SLUSD School Board.