Decatur School Board plans superintendent’s exit, puts 2 more acres under contract

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 15, 2015
City Schools of Decatur Board of Education. File Photo by Carey O'Neil

City Schools of Decatur Board of Education. File Photo by Carey O’Neil

The Decatur School Board voted on the terms of Superintendent Phyllis Edwards exit from the school system and voted to put two more acres of property for a new school under contract.

Both votes came at the end of an executive session after the July 14 School Board meeting.

Chairman Garrett Goebel contacted Decaturish and said under the terms of Edwards’ extension, she will be paid through Dec. 31. Her last day with the school system will be the hiring date of her replacement, and she will be available for two weeks after that to aid with the transition. Edwards makes $220,000 annually, and will be paid $110,000 for the next six months, according to Goebel.

She will also be eligible for a $10,000 bonus. During the July 14 meeting School Board members also approved a $20,000 bonus for Edwards for her service during the previous year.

“I have always felt like as much as we need to live within our means and tighten our belt, we also have an obligation to our teachers, our staff and our educators, and that includes you as superintendent,” School Board Member Annie Caiola told Edwards prior to voting to approve the $20,000 bonus. “We gave our teachers a step increase and a cost of living increase. We need to do right by all of our employees even in difficult times. This is what you deserve even in tight times.”

Additionally, School Board members went under contract to purchase 2 more acres along Talley Street. The parcels are located at 2617 Talley Street and the purchase price is $1.1 million per acre, bringing the total to $2.2 million.

Last month, the School Board went under contract to purchase 3.9 acres along Talley Street for $1.25 million per acre. . DOE guidelines require six acres for an elementary school.

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  • CSD Teacher

    To couch the subject of Edwards’ bonus in the same context as teachers’ step increase and 2% cost of living increase is insulting, as is the notion that the outgoing superintendent “deserves” a bonus on top of her already exorbitant salary. As teacher pay has increased modestly over the past twelve years, the superintendent’s salary has increased precipitously, including handsome bonuses most if not all of the years she’s been here. Her salary has almost doubled, from $125K to $220K.

  • CSD Observer

    The board should just write the check and let Edwards walk out the door now. A lameduck superintendent can create a lot of problems, especially when she has nothing to lose.

    • FRL

      That’s already what’s happening. True story.

  • An American Patriot

    You know, it’s hard to fight the good old boys and girls network. I still say we should be told more about the DeVry debacle. I believe poor negotiating skills are costing Decatur Homeowners. Maybe we should file a FOIA request. It’s just hard for me to believe that the COD was given a price of $17M and the US GSA bought it for $7M.

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