DECATUR – The Decatur Public Schools Board of Education has informed Superintendent Lisa Taylor that they will not be renewing her contract in 2017.
Taylor replaced Gloria Davis as Superintendent on March 22, 2014. In her contract, the Board is obligated to take action on whether they will extend or not extend her contract “Prior to March 1, 2017.” However, Taylor says she has already been told the vote would be 4-3 against renewing her contract.
“All I’m hearing is positive things from people and questions as to why,” says Board Member Brian Hodges, joining Byers & Company Friday morning. “People are just really, really upset.”
Hodges was the President of the Board at the time Taylor was brought on. He says the board conducted their annual evaluation of Taylor’s performance during closed session before Tuesday’s regular meeting.
In the evaluation portion of the Superintendent’s contract it states: “This contract may be extended at the end of any contract term by mutual agreement if all of the student performance and academic improvement goals set forth in the attachments are met.” Taylor said the evaluation showed she had met all of her goals as Superintendent, though Hodges says the vote is all that matters.
“It comes down to four people saying ‘no’ they won’t extend the contract and three of us said ‘yes,’” Hodges says. “For most of us, we looked at our goals for her and felt really positive about her.”
“I think it is about personal issues,” Hodges continues. “Some haven’t felt positive about her even when she started two years ago. I think some of the members want to control things that maybe the Superintendent doesn’t feel the same about.”
The Board has been split on a number of issues in the past, though Hodges says they are still a functional board.
“For the most part you are going to see a seven to nothing vote on lots of things that have to do with the district,” he says. “But when you start getting into personal issues, you’ll get the four to three split.”
Taylor’s contract officially expires on June 30, 2017. While the board indicates they won’t be renewing her contract, they have yet to take an official vote.
The Board of Education will be meeting in open session to discuss the FY17 budget on Tuesday, February 16th. The open session will be followed by a closed executive session in which the board is allowed to discuss personnel matters.
You can listen to Brian Hodges full interview on Byers & Company here.