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Changing superintendents costly, but Pickens is not alone in frequent turnovers


     Results from an open records request filed by the Progress last week found that the county’s school boards over the past 15 years have spent roughly $650,000 in replacing superintendents who they parted ways with before the end of their contracts.

The figure includes money spent to pay the remainder of superintendent contracts and the amount spent to hire interim-superintendents while they searched for replacements. It does not include the costs of any searches or consultants used to find replacements. It also does not include whatever deal might be reached with former superintendent Rick Townsend.

The amounts paid to the outgoing superintendents were generally dictated by terms in their original contract. The amount spent on all superintendent pay is a mixture of state funds and local tax dollars. The school’s finance director, Amy Smith, explained in an e-mail, “The function where superintendents are paid is not required to be designated state or local.  We do earn some state funds but it is not enough to cover the total salary and benefits so it becomes a state and local expense.”

     See full story in this week's print or online editions.