Racine Unified has all-but hired Dr. James Shaw as its next superintendent. All that's left for the board to do is meet in open session on Monday, Aug. 18, and formally approve the contract that Dr. Shaw has already signed -- that's his signature on the contract above.
The contract is for two years, which is as long as state law permits, beginning on Sept. 1, 2008, and ending on June 30, 2010, and calls for a salary of $180,000 per year (which comes to $150,000 for the school year running from September 2008 to June 2009). The contract also states that Shaw comes into the district with a "bank" of 60 days of paid sick leave, 20 paid vacation days, five professional days and a car allowance of $850 per month.
Because Shaw has "retired" for purposes of the Wisconsin Retirement Fund, the district will not pay anything into the fund on his behalf. Instead, Shaw will accrue $20,000 per year in deferred compensation if he remains here for three years. The district also agreed to pay his moving expenses here from Lake Mills, WI, and to pay $20,500 into his 403(b) retirement savings plan.
The last contract of Dr. Tom Hicks, the district's previous superintendent, called for a salary of $144,000 per year, plus $15,000 into his retirement savings account. The district reportedly was willing to offer Dr. Barbara Pulliam, its first choice for the post this year, a $170,000 contract.
Here's a statement issued today by Tony Baumgardt, Racine Unified Board President:
“The overall public response to Dr. James Shaw’s candidacy for superintendent has been overwhelmingly positive. The community seems to be very impressed with Dr. Shaw’s credentials and background and has indicated support for his candidacy. During executive session last week, the Board gave me authority to negotiate a contract with Dr. Shaw. Dr. Shaw has now approved the terms and conditions of the contract, and the School Board will be meeting in open session next Monday, Aug. 18, to vote on Dr. Shaw’s contract as the terms and conditions still need to be approved by the Board.Here's the story we wrote about Dr. Shaw's public visit here on July 29.
"Attached you will find a copy of the contract as it stands without full board approval and it is important to note that we have reviewed comparable districts that have recently hired superintendents in the state. I believe we are in line with someone of Dr. Shaw’s experience an expertise.
"I want to thank those who participated in the small group interviews as well as the community forum for their feedback as well as the community for their support as we searched for a superintendent. I believe this is a positive step for Racine Unified and our community.”