Books? Don't they already have books?
Baker, who said he will retire in four years, will spend them earning more than $1.2 million.
"It looks out of balance but not when you consider the fact he's been with the district for 20 years," school board President Karen Morgan said. "He's close to retirement and it's important that he feels he's taken care of at this time."
Baker's contract goes into effect July 1, with a salary jump from $140,000 annually to $250,000. He will also receive an additional $200,000 to be paid in a lump sum Aug. 1 along with a lifetime health and dental benefits package for him and his spouse paid for by the district.
"It's the last contract I'm signing with the district prior to retirement," Baker said. "What they paid for was continuity of leadership when they need it the most."
The four-year, $1.2 million contract was approved as the district faces challenges with extremely rapid growth.
Some parents are concerned their classroom tax dollars are being spent on an administrator instead of the students.
Heather Gillin has children in the district and said as a taxpayer she resents the fact the board is "padding an administrator's retirement."
"That's money that needs to go to our kids, our teachers. It's irresponsible and unacceptable. That's our money, not the board's," Heather Gillin said. "I don't want to hinder him having a good life, but this is ridiculous to me."
Four of the district's five board members voted in favor of the contract. Morgan said their decision won't leave the district unable to provide resources for its students.
"I don't believe we are taking funds away from the students by spending the money in this fashion. I feel we are giving more to them by providing them the leader to give them an education," Morgan said. "We understand why we were elected and what we are responsible for. This wasn't approved without much thought, conversation and disagreements."
Board member of 16 years Monte Worle voted against the contract. He said he attempted in vain to discourage the other members in voting to approve the salary hike, calling it extreme.
"Our governor only makes a $175,000 salary. Baker's $250,000 is too extreme. It's way out of line. That money could have gone a long way in the classrooms," Worle said. "His pay is unheard of, way more than what other superintendents are making."
Baker's new salary is not only substantially more than all county district superintendents, but more than $80,000 more than County Superintendent of Schools Herbert Fischer.
Supporters of Baker's new contract support the decision, saying it was based on his longstanding merit.
Andrew Jaramillo, a longtime High Desert insurance agent and financial planner, worked with Baker to help negotiate the contract saying he's worth every penny.
"He's very accomplished and in my opinion under paid," Jaramillo said. "If he was in the private sector he would command a salary in millions of dollars."
Baker has the longest tenure of any superintendent in the county. Teachers in his district are the highest paid in the High Desert and he is the only superintendent in the county to have passed a bond issue in the past three years.
"I know he's accomplished and I think he's a good man, but what he has done is his job," Lupita Gonzalez of Victorville said. "These are our tax dollars. He may deserve a raise but this is obscene."