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Superintendent gets 2-year contract extension

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Written by
Mary Nash-Wood
mwood2@gannett.com  

 

In a 9-3 vote, Caddo Parish School Board members Tuesday approved a two-year extension of Superintendent Gerald Dawkins’ contract that offers him no pay raise from his $202,000 a year.

The contract, which saw dissenting votes by board members Charlotte Crawley, Curtis Hooks and Steve Riall, institutes Dawkins as superintendent until Aug. 13, 2013. While Dawkins will not receive a salary increase, he will remain eligible for an annual performance bonus of up to $10,000. Dawkins will also maintain a district-purchased vehicle and cellphone.

“There is still a lot of work ahead,” Dawkins said. “I understand the challenges very clearly. The budget is a challenge. We’re trying to maintain a fiscally strong school system and an academically challenging system for all of our youngsters, but we will strive to provide the best education for all of our students as we move forward.”

Dawkins will complete his third year as superintendent in August.

Prior to the final vote, two substitute motions were proposed by Crawley and Hooks.

One called for the contract extension to be postponed until May 3 to give the board more time to review the contract.

The other, which was only supported by Hooks, called for the contract to be renewed for one year instead of two.

Prior to the vote board members were not provided a full copy of the contract on which they would be voting. Instead, the district released a list of six items the superintendent wanted to change in the contract as well as a suggested motion to pass the contract. Those items were not given to board members until Monday.

Riall said he wanted more time to make a decision on the contract since he along with several other board members were not on the board during the original contract negotiations and would like to know what the terms of the contract included before giving his stamp of approval.

Ultimately, board members such as Bonita Crawford and Dottie Bell voted in favor of the contract extension.

Crawford, who made the motion that ultimately passed, said she supported the two-year contract because she has seen the work Dawkins has done for the district.

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“It’s time to do this, and I have no hesitation in making this motion,” she said. “He’s worked under almost impossible conditions trying to do the right thing between the state and what we ask him to do. I just think this is what we should be doing.”

Dawkins arrived in Shreveport from Saginaw, Mich. in August 2008 after a lengthy superintendent search with the intent of bringing change an academic-focus of excellence for all Caddo Parish students.

During his tenure, he brought the district the Caddo Plan, a three-year initiative to transform failing schools while establishing theme campuses, teacher incentives and continuous monitoring by both the district and the state.

Most recently, Dawkins gained board approval of the district’s master plan better known as Vision 2020. The plan calls for the closure of 13 schools over the next three years as well as the construction of four new campuses and renovation of remaining schools. Vision 2020 comes at an estimated cost of $600 million. A bond proposal is expected for spring 2013.

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Written by demon53

April 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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