The Howard County School Board agreed to a $ 1.65 million settlement to buyout Superintendent Foose’s contract. Had the legislation proposed by Howard County Delegation Bill 11-18 Howard County Board of Education – Superintendent of Schools – Term Length, Ho. Co. 11–18 been in effect, the cost of the buyout could have been orders of magnitude larger.
The bill proposes to remove the 4-year limit to superintendent’s contracts just for Howard County. It states “IN HOWARD COUNTY, THE COUNTY BOARD SHALL DETERMINE THE LENGTH OF THE TERM OF THE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT.” There are no limitations to the School Board’s power. Had this legislation been in effect when Foose’s contract was renewed she could have been given say a 20-year contract. What would the buyout had been then–$7, $8, $9 million.
Once again your legislators have not clearly thought through the consequences of proposed legislation. There must be some limits on the length of the contract; else another arrogant and out of touch school board could give a extremely long-term contract to a superintendent which will leave the former superintendent with a cozy retirement and the taxpayers of Howard County holding the bag.
In addition, because the term of the Howard County superintendent need not begin on July 1, it is unclear how to apply the other dates referenced in the law.
Tell your delegation representative to amend HoCo 11-18.