BARSTOW • Outgoing Superintendent Susan Levine's $138,000 salary will be paid until the end of June 2012, though she is no longer required to fulfill the duties of the position, documents reveal.
Levine's settlement contract states until her contract ends June 30, 2012, she will continue to receive monthly payments totaling about $92,000. Additionally she will receive health and welfare benefits as well as unused vacation time. Because she resigned she will not receive any severance pay.
The Barstow Unified School District School Board announced Levine's resignation at the Nov. 8 board meeting, though district staff were notified several days prior.
Levine said she resigned after board members informed her that her contract would not be renewed, though the board did not officially vote on the matter. Board President Mary Rodriguez said she is not legally allowed to disclose why Levine's contract was not renewed.
According to her employment contract, signed Feb. 24, 2009, the school board had until Dec. 31 to decide whether they would renew her contract or not.
Board member Ben Rosenberg said the board told Levine her contract would not be renewed early because otherwise she would be informed just before Christmas.
"How (awful) would it be December 24th to say, 'Oh, by the way, we're not renewing your contract?'" Rosenberg said. "We told her early so it wouldn't harm her during the holiday time."
The average superintendent salary for a district the size of Barstow Unified is about $180,000. Though Levine's salary was less than that average, some have expressed concern that the board would approve spending money on two superintendents.
At the Nov. 8 board meeting Candice Michaelson, president of the Barstow Educators Association, said she was concerned that the district would be paying two superintendent salaries this year, while the district badly needs more teachers.
Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Jeff Malan will take on the responsibilities of superintendent until the board appoints an interim. Rosenberg said the board is in the process of working up a contract to appoint Malan to the interim position. That contract is likely to be completed by the next board meeting.
Because negotiations are not final, Rosenberg cannot say whether or not the district will be spending more money on personnel after Levine's departure. He explained that in the past, administrators have stepped up as interim superintendent without extra pay.
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