Saturday, August 28, 2004

Bad Behavior Pays...Yet Again

One of our operatives working in what Bill O'Reilly terms "Fly Over Country" has reported to your EdWonk yet another case of a school administrator behaving badly. As in other such incidents, the school administrator in question was forced to cry, Liberace used to say.....all the way to the bank.

On the last day of March, of this year, Floyd Marshall, Superintendent of schools in Newport, Arkansas got into a little shoving match after a board meeting. It seems as though a local reporter was questioning the superintendent about some new rules that Marshall had proposed regarding news policies and advertising within the district. According to our source, the proposed new rule would forbid announcers from criticizing sports officials, coaches, or players during any school-sponsored athletic event. The proposal also included first-time charges for local media that wished to cover high school sports events. Naturally, local media types were unhappy about the proposed arrangement.

The squabble itself was soon broken up and produced no casualties. No one was rushed to the emergency room. However, in this small town of 7000 people the scandal was enormous. Multitudes of parents began calling for Marshall's resignation. After all, if it had been a teacher that had publicly shoved a member of the media, no doubt Marshall would have wasted no time demanding the offending teacher's resignation. Consequently, the school board met the following week and suspended Marshall with pay because of his bad behavior.

So what do we have? A superintendent behaving badly, parents that are calling for the removal of the superintendent, and a board that seems to be responding to parental pressure. And what actually happened? Marshall cut a deal. After a closed-door meeting in mid April, he resigned his position as superintendent of the 1600 student district. One would think that should have been the end of it.

But that was not the end of it. The "end" is that the board will continue to pay Marshall's salary until June 2006. And that salary will add up to a whopping $233,000. The real punch line of this sad joke is that not only will the Newport school board pay the salary of the old superintendent, they will have to pay the salary of the new superintendent as well.

Obviously the Newport, Arkansas School District Governing Board needs to be Educated.

Marshall even got a consolation prize. In early August he began a new job as principal of Carlisle High School, which is located in a nearby District. Who says you can't get paid twice for the same job? Your EdWonk wishes that he could get some of that.