Thursday, September 1, 2011

Easton's School Board Can Fire Superintendent

Posted by: Noël Jones

I have been hearing a lot of complaints in the community about Easton Area School District's Superintendent, Sue McGinley for two straight years now, from the decision to fire 72 teachers last year, to her taking home $324,000 this year (her new salary of $170K + tuition reimbursement for finishing her doctorate and unused vacation over the last three years, according to Colin McEvoy's article for the Express-Times), and everything in between. As our present school board members have seemed unclear on this fact, I want both our new school board candidates AND our current school board members to know that they can fire the superintendent if they are unhappy with her performance.

Here is the excerpt from her contract (which is a public document) that explains how:

10. Reappointment. The Board shall provide the Superintendent with periodic opportunities to discuss Superintendent/Board relationships, and shall inform her at least semi-annually of any inadequacies perceived by the Board. If, at any time, the Board decides that it does not desire to renew the contract of the Superintendent for another term, the District shall notify the Superintendent in writing by certified mail, no later than the first day of the final year of this Agreement, of the Board’s intent not to reappoint her. Should Superintendent not be so notified, she shall be reappointed at the next regular business Board meeting following the first day of the final year of the Agreement for a term of years not less than the length of the expiring term, and the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall be incorporated into a successor Agreement unless mutually agreed otherwise by the District and Superintendent.

If the Board advises the Superintendent that it does not desire to renew the contract of the Superintendent for another term, of if she and the Board mutually agree that she should be allowed to resign from her Superintendent’s position during the term of this agreement, then upon the expiration of her term she will continue as a professional employee of the Easton Area School District in an administrative capacity of the Board’s choosing. Her salary will be determined at he highest level of compensation that may then be in effect for such position

If current and future board members and their constituents are truly dissatisfied with Sue McGinley's performance, it is time to stop rubber-stamping her desires and taking seriously their elected role of watchdog over the administration on behalf of voting taxpayers. No more throwing up hands and saying, "it's really unbelievable and awful but what can we do?" If you are not firing her, then you support her. You have the power. Use it.

And readers, if you are as unhappy with the superintendent as you have repeatedly said in the past two years on this blog, then it's time to stop complaining, and click this link to find the email address for your school board representatives, and write to tell them that you want McGinley fired. You elected these board members. They represent you.


Anonymous said...

What is more telling, in the excerpt, is that school boards continue to agree to contracts that are simply not necessary.

These public education nazis have no where to go. They have no bargaining leverage, yet we continue to get the "we have to remain competitive" justification for contract terms that the market simply does not justify.

Thousands of unemployed teachers with thousands more newly minted scores joining the ranks every year, the state considering consolidation of districts (theoretically reducing the need for superintendents). Yet school boards continue to give away the store.

Seems like the school board needs firing as much as the superintendent.

noel jones said...

Anon--with 7 of 9 positions up for potential turnover in this election, and three incumbents already kicked out in the primary, it looks like a "firing" of the school board is exactly what's going to happen in November.

noel jones said...

I have heard recently that the board reviewed Sue McGinley a few weeks ago and that she passed with flying colors.

Does anyone out there know if this is true?

If so, it's further evidence that the turnover coming in November is way overdue...

Jennifer said...

I hope that the board did not recently give McGinley a review she passed "with flying colors." If it is true, what were they thinking? Maybe you should send your article to the board members. Since they are known for not reading contracts, they may not know that they can fire her. Nov.8 cannot get here quick enough to get new blood on the board.