Teachers say: Make Wilcox pay for part of search
Concerned over a $43-million budget deficit that could impact 16,000 school district employees, the head of the Pinellas teachers union said Friday that outgoing superintendent Clayton Wilcox should be held accountable for at least part of the district's cost to find his replacement.
Speaking on behalf of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, executive director Jade Moore acknowledged to the Gradebook that asking Wilcox to pay the up to $60,000 that his contract stipulates in the event he leaves the district before June 30 would be unreasonable. Wilcox likely would stay until that date rather than leaving on June 3, the date the board has agreed to let him go, thus negating the obligation.
Asking him to cover the full cost of a Florida School Board Association search – $6,000 plus expenses, for a total of up to $25,000 – also would be a poor business decision for the board, Moore said, since the district would have to pay Wilcox $28,000 in salary to cover the additional weeks of his employment.
But that doesn't mean the board shouldn't ask for any reimbursement at all, Moore contends.
"Wilcox has put the board in the position of having to conduct a search three years earlier than they had planned," he said. "The very least the board should do is ask him to pay the $6,000. Asking him to pay that much is the responsible thing to do."
- Donna Winchester, Pinellas education reporter