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The California School Boards Association has tightened its wallet considerably in hiring a new executive director after last year's controversy over the pay of former leader Scott Plotkin.

Vernon Billy will take the group's helm May 4 at an annual salary of $232,000 -- a far cry from Plotkin's compensation of $516,517 in 2008 and $403,955 in 2009 after receiving sizable bonuses and other compensation.

Billy, 40, is replacing interim Executive Director Jeff Vaca, who will return to his previous role of chief operations operator for the association representing more than 1,000 school districts.

Billy, a blast from CSBA's past, served as a lobbyist in the group's governmental relations department from 1994 to 2000.

More recently, Billy has been a vice president of School Innovations & Advocacy, a consulting and lobbying firm. He also has served as a cabinet member for the San Francisco Unified School District and as a chief lobbyist for several school districts.


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