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.







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  1. Mr. Josey Wales says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    I say we should fire Eric Prather, and save the money.

    This district, San Luis Coastal, was confrontational with teachers and refused to give them a measly 4% pay raise-but now they have an extra million to loan to a bureaucrat?

    Corruption is alive and well in SLO County.

    Just saying,

    Mr. Josey Wales

    (38) 40 Total Votes - 39 up - 1 down
  2. kayaknut says:

    “Let them eat cake”

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  3. taxpayer says:

    The governor of the State of California makes $190,000 per year!

    (32) 32 Total Votes - 32 up - 0 down
    • Kaiser Bill says:

      And lives in a simple house. Disagree with Jerry Brown’s politics, but he has never accepted perks and fed off the taxpayers as people like Eric Prather.

      (29) 31 Total Votes - 30 up - 1 down
  4. mullyman says:

    Prater here since 2010 makes almost $300,000 a yr ( 4 times as much as good pay job in SLO is and very few of them) and he has not been able to buy a house yet? Now you want to give him a loan way lower than the going rate with no money down, add me to the list if your going into the finance business. You normally have to put 20% down with excellent credit to get one of the overpriced SLO houses. There are a lot of other hardworking people who would like this deal. I heard Prater had other job offers with better pay and feel he is blackmailing the trustees so they will keep him. Let him go as there will always be some other” unreplacable” person to take his place at the outragious wages you pay. It’s very noble of Prater to forgo the $50,000 wage increase over 5 yrs to get a $950,000 loan with bascally no out of pocket money from him. When are you fools going to wake up and realize you are paying these people way to much money and most of the real work is done by people who you pay almost nothing and this guy is just a figure head.

    (43) 43 Total Votes - 43 up - 0 down
    • rukidding says:

      Be careful calling these people fools! They consider themselves some of the smartest people on this earth. Unfortunately they may be correct when they pull stuff like this off.

      (22) 26 Total Votes - 24 up - 2 down
      • Kaiser Bill says:

        Based on GRE scores, school administrators and Education PhDs are perhaps the dumbest people in Grad Schools with some of the lowest IQs.

        http://qz.com/334926/your-college-major-is-a-pretty-good-indication-of-how-smart-you-are/

        This isn’t intelligence on the part of public officials like Prater, this is rent seeking. Rent Seeking is parasitic and deprives wealth from a society to an elite that does nothing to to generate wealth themselves. Prater doesn’t create ANY jobs, if anything, this outlay of a million dollars will lead to layoffs in the School District. In the old days, rent seeking was brutal and direct. The Mongols conquered China and Russia, and siphoned off wealth from those lands. Now, rent seeking occurs in the form of a managerial elite; Politicians, Education officials, Advocates of “oppressed groups” demanding diverse hiring practices, court systems with obscene fines (See Ferguson, cops fining people for busted taillights that resulted in $1000 fines and jail when people couldn’t pay).

        (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
        • kayaknut says:

          Eric Prater basically just got a $950,000 dollar raise paid for by the districts homeowners, and you say who’s the dumb one?????

          (17) 17 Total Votes - 17 up - 0 down
          • Kaiser Bill says:

            Were the Mongols who clubbed Chinese people over the head for tribute smart? No. That was rent seeking back then, Prater is rent seeking now. It may be cunning, but it does not show intelligence. Similarly, you will find many people in state prisons or on Wall Street with a lot of cunning but who innovate and create no wealth of their own. The Mongols did nothing for their tribute states, Prater does nothing for the local taxpayers.

            (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  5. HarryMalone says:

    If you are in need of a good vomit scroll down to ROY’S comment and click on LINK to read the details of the loan agreement.

    Make sure you have access to vomit vestibule before reading.

    (19) 21 Total Votes - 20 up - 1 down
  6. Rich in MB says:

    All Pigs are Equal
    Some Pigs are More Equal

    Folks…when will you learn that the Governmental Industrial Complex looks after it’s own and doesn’t give a rats rear end about you, the Students or the Community. All it cares about it itself. So sit down, shut up and let the experts that are trained and smarter than you decide how to run the Education Industrial Complex.

    Let them eat Cake and get their Own Home Loans

    (18) 24 Total Votes - 21 up - 3 down
  7. ShootTheMessenger says:

    The school district is also paying for a life insurance policy in case he dies before paying off the mortgage. But only HALF of the policy goes to paying the mortgage. Perk after perk after perk.

    The kids in the SLCUSD are so lucky to have this million dollar man over seeing their education. Maybe the students will realize that government jobs are the way to go following Prater’s example.

    (25) 27 Total Votes - 26 up - 1 down
  8. Niles Q says:

    $950,000 buys a really nice house anywhere in this county, he for sure can find something for less than that. You watch, now he’ll find a house for $799K and claim to have saved $200K. Assuming the money is coming out of reserves, you’ve got to look at what that money earns in the District’s investments vs. the interest he will pay, to judge whether it’s a good deal for the district. SLCUSD has always paid its admin people very well but this goes a bit over the top. I wish I had his financial woes, I guarantee you that I could afford a home at $211,000 a year.

    (26) 26 Total Votes - 26 up - 0 down
    • rukidding says:

      A good deal would be to invest the money that taxpayers have paid for what the money is collected for and that is to educate the children in the classroom. It’s not to provide for a comfortable lifestyle for it’s Superintendent. This is only one of the perks that he has. I would like to see a posting of his entire package including auto allowance, insurance programs and additional retirement investments? I think that most people would be a surprised/

      (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
  9. rukidding says:

    We should all be informed on how this was initiated? Who placed it on their agenda? Where was the information obtained for the request? How was the $950,000 figure determined?

    Now lets talk about transparency.

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
    • Kaiser Bill says:

      This was intentionally placed on the Board Agenda by the Superintendent and District staff right before Christmas. Many people are out of town and busy with Christmas plans and won’t notice.

      (16) 16 Total Votes - 16 up - 0 down

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