TAKING PUBLIC OUT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
LCBOE negotiates employment contract with Jason Vance - May 5-2011
ALL PARTIES AGREE - VIDEO CONTRACT RENEWAL - 2 YRS
BY: PAT HUNTER
An important matter will be considered at the March 1, 2012 Loudon County Board of Education meeting, agenda item 2 �Director�s Contract Extension.� The workshop/board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Tech Center, Harrison Rd., Lenoir City.
Without any explanation, public comment was moved down the totem pole between agenda item 4 and 5. Why muzzle citizens before the board�s vote?
Perhaps, some may feel that this is of no concern to taxpayers but the director's 4-year employment contract has serious consequences if a buyout would be necessary. The contract includes $110,000 yearly salary, insurance benefits for the director and his children, pension, travel, no residency requirement, etc.
Why rush to extend the 4-year contract when the new director has barely been on the job 9-months?
(Click to read Final Signed Director's Contract pdf) (Click to read Draft Contract before Changes)
Evaluation Policy Qualifications & QUALIFICATIONS & DUTIES Policy
At the May 5, 2011 workshop meeting, the board and Jason Vance hammered out an employment contract and all parties agreed on the renewal clause at year two. Why is there no supporting documents or draft contract included in the March 1 Informational Packet for citizens to see; I tried but to no avail? I contacted Jason Vance by email, which he's ignored so far.
At the Feb. 9, 2012 board meeting, Chairman Scott Newman stated that the board would take no further action other than to accept the director�s evaluation and score of 3.93. Three days later, a public notice appeared with the date, time, and location of meetings which stated, �Extension of Director of Schools Will Be Considered.� Furthermore, there was also no public discussion to extend the contract at the preceding Feb. 2nd workshop meeting. Instead the board heard a forty minute Power Point presentation by the director.
Two concerns call into question the board�s pending action: 1) upcoming school board elections for five school board members, and 2) pending state legislation to revert to the process of electing superintendents by voters.
The school director answers to the board and the board answers to the electorate. If the school board, who hired the director of schools could extend the term of the contract, that board has effectively put the directors of schools evaluation and continued employment beyond the accountability and control of any new board members.
At the Nov. 3, 2011 workshop meeting, the board and director of schools discussed sending three resolutions about proposed legislation to Rep. Jimmy Matlock. One resolution opposed reverting to the process of electing superintendents by voters. School directors are currently appointed by school boards. Rep. Matlock was in attendance at the meeting. He commented about a survey that he conducted over a 2-year period and that seventy (70) percent of his constituents favored electing superintendents. He personally felt not to support that position and he voted against that. His decision was based on the wishes of the Lenoir, Loudon, and Monroe County school boards. THREE RESOLUTIONS Click See Nov. 10, 2011 Minute excerpt
APPOINTED VS ELECTED SUPERINTENDENTS NOV 3-2011 CLICK VIDEO CLIP (MAY TAKE 2 MINUTES TO LOAD)
There was some concern that if the legislative bills made it out of committee that the bills had a good chance of passing, and residency could present a problem for the current director of schools who resides in an adjoining county. This is the same meeting that Chairman Scott Newman spoke about doing away with workshop meetings.
At a time of tight school budgets and revenue shortfalls, and transparency and accountability at issue, why does the school board want to take the public out public education?
NOVEMBER 3, 2011 WORKSHOP MEETING - ABSENT CRAIG SIMON & LEROY TATE
Minutes November 10, 2011 - THREE RESOLUTIONS Click to see
Board opposition to legislation to revert to elect school superintendents by voters, Change of start date to Calendar Year, and School Vouchers.
Excerpt from Minutes
Motion by Bobby Johnson Jr. to approve (3) Resolutions, second by William Jenkins
(1) �The Loudon County Board of Education encourages the Tennessee General Assembly to place the interest of students above any other by recognizing the value of appointed superintendents and rejecting any attempt to revert to superintendent elections.�
(2) �The Loudon County Board of Education 0pposes any legislation or similar effort to alter or impair a local board of education�s ability to establish an academic calendar as it works best for its students, teachers, parents, and community.�
(3) �The Loudon County Board of Education opposes any legislation or other similar effort to create a voucher program in Tennessee that would divert money intended for public education to private schools.�
AYE: Johnson, Marcus, Best, Jenkins, Newman, Russell, Simon, Ubben, Tate