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Monday, October 10, 2005

Rebecca Perry’s Contract…

I have always wondered what the new contract that the Alexandria School Board executed with Rebecca Perry in 2004 was comprised of. This is the contract that is in effect today and is expected expire on June 30th, 2008. There are some very interesting items in this contract that every voter and tax payer in Alexandria should be aware of.

The way this has been structured is very much in the favor of Mrs. Perry and it is clear the School Board did this to protect her through 2008.

The key highlights include…

Contract Summary
- Contract is in effect from June 30th, 2005 through June 30th, 2008 and terminates any other contracts or agreements that were in effect prior
- The salary is not clear, as the stated salary is 189,744.94, though the terms state an increase will take place on July 1st (one day later). The estimate of the total salary based on increases is around 202,400, though we need to get this final number. The salary also is scheduled to increase every year until 2008.
- Salary can be adjusted during the term by the board via an extended term, though this has to be agreed by all parties. The adjustment in term has no impact on the contact terms.

- Annual benefits include: 20 calendar days vacation (with carry over); 15 days sick (with 30 days float); 4 personal days (carry over); Full payment of all insurance, retirement costs, and 10K to tax sheltered annuity by the board.
- Other benefits: $650 per month card allowance + mileage for out-of-city; Continuing education costs (board approved); leave for seminars, courses, meetings, civic, and private education.
- The superintendent has the right to engage in other business and employment activities as long as it does not impact the job.
- The Superintendent can continue to perform consultative work, speaking engagements, writing, lecturing, teaching or other activities for compensation.

Duties of Superintendent
- Standard duties and requirements to abide by all laws and policies within the Code of Virginia
- Main focus of job include: responsibility and authority to organize, reorganize, and arrange the teachers, administrative and supervisory staffs, and other employees so as to best serve the students of ACPS.
- The superintendent also is responsible for administration of instruction and business affairs within ACPS.

Performance & Renewals
- The board will communicate the Superintendent the intent with respect to renewals or extension of the agreement by December 31, 2007.
- The renewals and discussions shall and must be confidential and be held behind closed door meetings.
- The renewal only will be renewed if both the Board and the Superintendent agree in writing.
- The superintendent has to furnish all the evidence and paperwork to prove she is legally qualified to serve as Superintendent based on Virginia law.
- The superintendent must provide medical examination results every two years to the board. The board pays all medical tests.
- If any performance issues are identified with Rebecca Perry’s performance the Board must alert Mrs. Perry in writing
- The board must refer promptly all criticisms, complaints, and suggestions concerning the Superintendent’s performance in writing.
- Any performance issues or complaints that are not submitted to the superintendent within six months are not admissible against the Superintendent at a discharge or disciplinary hearing.
- The Board reserves the June board meeting to review, in closed door sessions, the Superintendents performance. This will serve as a review of the Superintendent’s work.

Discipline and Termination
- The agreement may be terminated for the following reasons:
- Sufficient Cause – The Board may assess a reasonable fine upon, suspend from office, or discharge the Superintendent for sufficient cause in accordance with the provisions of VA code 22.1-65 or any successor provision of any future enactment of the VA code. As employed herein, “sufficient cause” shall include: 1) material failure of performance or neglect of duty; 2) commission by the Super of any act of omission constituting dishonesty, fraud, immoral or disreputable conduct; 3) convictions as set forth in VA Code Section 22.1-296.1 (or any equivalent offense in another state); 4) material breach of the agreement; or 5) any other good and sufficient cause which renders the Superintendent unable to continue her duties.

- Prior to imposition of a fine, suspension, or discharge for sufficient cause, the Superintendent will be entitles to written notice and will have the right to: i) appear before the Board in Closed Session; (ii) be represented at the hearing by a representative of the Superintendent’s choice, (iii) receive a written decision setting forth the decision of the Board, (iv) appeal any decision of the board to the Circuit Court of Alexandria City, VA

- The provision does not constitute any waiver of any rights of the Superintendent may have to enforce this agreement in a court of law.

- In the event of discharge for Sufficient Cause, the agreement will terminate and the Board pays the Superintendent all salary and benefits through the date of discharge (plus continuation of benefits required by law)

- In the event disciplinary action is brought against the Superintendent, whether for imposition of a fine, suspension or discharge of the Super and such action is not sustained by the board or the court, the board will reimburse the attorneys’ feed and expenses incurred by the Superintendent in the defense of action.

- Mutual Agreement – The board and Superintendent agree in writing to terminate the agreement

- Death or Disability – The board will terminate the agreement immediately upon death. If disability for more than 6 months, the Board can terminate the contract.

Other Points of Note...

- Any discipline or performance issues that have not been submitted as issues that are older than 6 months can not be used in any form of discipline or termination of employment.

- Perry has the right to bring action against the board if any discipline or termination in the Circuit Court of Alexandria City. The Board will pay all legal fees for Mrs. Perry.

- The termination of employment can only happen if there are specific documented performance issues or material failure of the job or contract

- Perry has unlimited damages if the contract is terminated without cause. This puts the ACPS at a big monetary risk.

- If she goes against the board in court, the legal fees could be 100’s of thousands. She also can file a lawsuit for direct and indirect damages, which could get into the millions.

- To change the deal of her contact (with an addendum) the change requires two-thirds vote of the board. This relates to most contact or salary changes in the contract.

This is a pretty rock solid contract for Mrs. Perry.

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