Senator Saland Announces Passage Of Bill Dealing With Superintendent Contracts

Stephen M. Saland

June 18, 2008

It is not uncommon for school boards to negotiate early termination agreements with school superintendents. When a school superintendent leaves employment before the end of his or her contract, Senate Bill 1094A would limit a board of education to negotiating a compensation agreement on the unserved portion of the contract that does not exceed 25% of the average annual compensation provided for in the contract. It also requires public disclosure when termination negotiations commence and prohibits buyouts when a contract is terminated for reasons other than just cause.

“In recent years there have been several cases across New York, including one in the City of Poughkeepsie, where a school superintendent has left their position before their contract expired, with a large buyout and with little or no explanation of the details to the public,” said Senator Saland. “The public has been justifiably outraged at these large buyouts especially when there is no public scrutiny. Given continually increasing school budgets, school property tax payers have a right to know about agreements which will cost a school district more than they had budgeted. This bill will provide more transparency when a school superintendent’s contract ends prematurely,” Saland continued.