Supersized Buyouts for School Chiefs Scrutinized
Arlene Ackerman’s $905,000 settlement with the Philadelphia district grabbed headlines, but she isn’t the only Pennsylvania superintendent who has been shown the door in recent months with a generous settlement in hand.
According to media reports, William Hall, who led the 3,050-student Gettysburg district, left in February with $542,000. That included two years of salary and forgiving the mortgage on his house, which he had bought from the district’s vocational education program. In August, Gerald Zahorchak, Pennsylvania’s former secretary of education, was bought out a year into his five-year contract to lead the 17,700-student Allentown district. He will be paid a year’s salary of $195,000 and a $55,000 lump sum.
The board of the 11,750-student Central Dauphin district near Harrisburg didn’t fire Superintendent Luis Gonzalez after voting not to renew his contract in August. But after the vote, he was moved to a remote office to conduct “special projects” and retain his $150,000 yearly salary, while a deputy handles day-to-day...
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