St. Johns County has the top school district in Florida.
|Grade – 2018-19 school year||A||B|
|Rank, out of 67 districts||#1||#51|
The St. Johns County School Board’s policies set forth the responsibilities of the superintendent in three succinct paragraphs. He is responsible for administration of the district and must keep the board informed of all phases of the school system. He is the executive officer of the school board, and all staff is under his supervision and direction. Pretty simple.
The proposed policy for the Escambia County School District has three paragraphs that explain the relationship between the board and superintendent and another four on the powers of the superintendent.
The Escambia proposal has a separate section that deals with the specifications of superintendent’s contract and how he will be paid his full contract if fired without cause by four board members.
The St. Johns Superintendent has a performance-based contract with bonuses tied to an annual evaluation, school performance and maintaining his certifications. The evaluation is divided into eight categories and 37 subcategories.
If the results show the superintendent met expectations in all eight categories, his base salary is increased by a percentage equal to the percentage of the aggregate base compensation increase awarded the district’s teachers.
Would Malcolm Thomas ever had earned a performance base if he was evaluated using the St. Johns’ evaluation process?
The contract identifies specific causes for termination, such as immorality, misconduct in office, incompetence and gross insubordination. If he is fired without cause, the superintendent is paid severance pay equal to 20 weeks base compensation. Termination requires only three votes of the school board.
Thomas and his administration team want to make the appointed superintendent as powerful and immovable as the elected superintendent by making termination so difficult and financially onerous that he can almost never be fired.
The Escambia County School Board should use the policies and contract template of the most successful school district in the state, not create the appointed position into the image of the current officeholder.
Don’t let Malcolm Thomas sabotage the appointed superintendent system before it’s ever implemented. Contact your school board member before Thursday’s board meeting.
Paul H. Fetsko
Dr. Laura Edler
Patty Hightower, Chairman
Bill Slayton, Vice Chairman