May 2, 2008

Pulliam's successor in Georgia earning $285,000,
double the salary RUSD expects to pay her

Whatever contract Racine Unified offers its choice for superintendent, Barbara Moore Pulliam, it will pale in comparison to that given her successor at the Clayton County Schools in Jonesboro, Ga., a district outside of Atlanta.

Pulliam, who was chosen here last week from a field of three finalists the board winnowed down from 20 candidates presented by its search firm, is expected to be offered a salary in the range of $144,000 a year, plus benefits -- the same paid the district's last superintendent, Thomas Hicks, who was pushed out last August. Negotiations, presumably, are under way.

Meanwhile, Pulliam's successor in Jonesboro, John W. Thomposon, who took office Monday, is getting $285,000 a year.

According to Georgia Senate President pro tem Eric Johnson, quoted Thursday in the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “I was outraged to finally see the contract with Clayton County’s new part-time School Superintendent. Even though he was declared unqualified by the accrediting agency, he will now receive $285,000 and a car and driver for 133 work days a year."

Pulliam resigned as Clayton County superintendent last July, after 3 1/2 years. When she took the job there the district was on probation, but it came off probation under her tenure.

Since she left, however, things haven't gone well. On March 15, the National Accreditation Commission board voted unanimously to revoke the 52,800-student district's accreditation on Sept. 1. And two days ago, two advisors appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to help save its accreditation, called the current school board dysfunctional and resigned.

While the selection process was under way here in Racine, there had been reports that the Clayton County board wanted to rehire Pulliam. We don't know whether those reports are true or not -- but why she would have wanted to leave Georgia behind to take on Racine's difficulties becomes more clear.

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