The Minneapolis school board voted on Tuesday not to move forward with contract negotiations with Sergio Paez, whom the board picked just last month as the new district superintendent.
But two days after the Dec. 7 vote for Paez, a Massachusetts-based advocacy group published a report with allegations of abuse of special education students at a Holyoke, Mass., school while Paez served as superintendent of that district.
After the allegations were published, the Minneapolis school board put contract negotiations with Paez on hold, and two school board members visited Holyoke to get more information on Paez’s leadership in Holyoke.
Paez has defended his handling of the alleged abuse complaints, and he met with members of the Minneapolis community and school administrators last week to answer questions they had about the allegations and his vision for Minneapolis Public Schools.
In the end, at a meeting in which the Star Tribune reported that protestors temporarily shut down the proceedings, the board voted unanimously against proceeding with Paez. Members cited the allegations in Holyoke and the erosion of trust, the paper reported. (In December, the board voted 6-3 to offer the job to Paez after a 10-month national search.)
“I am disappointed that the Minneapolis Board of Education has voted not to resume contract negotiations,” Paez told the Star Tribune. “I believe I would have provided the educational leadership that the district needs to chart a new course for student success. However, I understand and respect the board’s decision, and I wish the Minneapolis Public Schools the very best moving forward.”
The board attempted to approve a motion to start negotiations with Michael Goar, who has been serving as interim superintendent and was one of the three finalists for the job. Goar has been the interim schools chief since former superintendent Bernadeia Johnson resigned last January.
But some attending the meeting didn’t want Goar to get the job permanently either. Goar will continue as interim superintendent. The meeting ended without changes to his contract, and it was unclear what happens next as the district seeks to find a permanent schools chief, the Star Tribune reported.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.