Saturday, December 17, 2016

Despite financial 'crisis,' district pays superintendent to go away

"Broken Arrow is doing nothing to boost faith in the system for those who question the financial management of Oklahoma schools," the state's largest newspaper editorializes today.
In May, Broken Arrow school officials cut $7.39 million and eliminated dozens of teaching positions. Just a few weeks ago, Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall declared school finances were in a “real crisis.” Yet now school officials have abruptly announced Mendenhall will vacate his job in the middle of the school year, and the school will pay him nearly $103,100, plus the cost of health insurance, to leave 2 1/2 years early. Supposedly, this was a “mutual” agreement, not a technical firing. Despite evidence to the contrary, Broken Arrow officials insist Mendenhall is in “good standing.” Yet two things are clear: The school's finances are not so dire that officials can't find more than $100,000, and school officials are also willing to pay a high price to show Mendenhall the door.

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