Fox School Board Fails

12 Jun

1. The Critchlows and the Bakers are still employed by the district. This despite the fact that the contract of Fox C-6 Superintendent Dianne Critchlow has a provision for termination for cause. It reads:

That the Board may discharge the Superintendent for cause during the term of the contract. Cause shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: (i) neglect of duties and responsibilities; (ii) poor performance, incompetency or inefficiency in the line of duty; (iii) failure to comply with policies and regulations of the board; (iv) failure to comply with reasonable written directives of the Board; (v) failure to abide by the laws of the State of Missouri; (vi) immoral conduct; or (vii) material breach of this Contract.

I’m sure one (or more) of those causes can be made to fit the current situation.

2. “The board on Tuesday voted to pay about $20,000 to the Missouri School Boards’ Association for help finding a new superintendent.” Why is this necessary? Post the job opening and dozens of ladder-climbing administrators from across the state will apply. It’s not like the MSBA will suggest out-of-the-box candidates. I realize the board has made some bad hires in the past, but I don’t see what benefit this $20k will provide. Especially since…

3. “[New CFO John Brazeal] said the district faces a $7 million shortfall in next year’s budget.” Oops. And he said “One “distress factor”…was that administrative costs are increasing as a percentage of total operating spending.” You think so, with the 3rd highest paid superintendent in the state? With the 2nd highest average administrator pay (not counting schools that have only one administrator)?

Missouri schools ranked by average administrator pay, 2013

Missouri schools ranked by average administrator pay, 2013

Of note, this news was delivered by the district’s new CFO, who will be paid $165,000 per year. But did he suggest downsizing the bloated central office? No:

Options he presented to solve the funding gap included layoffs aimed at “nonteaching staff” to save $1 million to $1.5 million, and staff furloughs that could save about $500,000 for one day a month or $1 million if two furlough days are taken in that time period.

I suspect that none of the nonteaching staff will have the title of “assistant superintendent,” but they sure as hell should. Here’s a list of people to lay off to get them started. Meanwhile the district spends about $12,000 on salaries per week for the four disgraced administrators while they sit on paid leave.


7 Responses to “Fox School Board Fails”

  1. Anonymous June 12, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    At this time, there is not yet a conviction that she was responsible for the posts, but evidence seems to point that way. Will she lose her pension if she gets fires? It should be the case!


    • wrongonred June 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      Having done something, and being legally culpable for it under the law, and 2 very different things. This is not a criminal matter, so there will never be a conviction, however, Dianne’s contract clearly has a morals clause. This is situation can be very easily wrapped up. The School Board calls Mrs. Critchlow in and asks her if she engaged in this behavior. If she says yes, then fire her immediately. If she says no, ask her to then explain why her homes network was used and whether she was aware. Let her blame her husband if she would like. This is not a court of law, she cannot plead the 5th. She can refuse to answer, but given she reports to the board, it is a terminable offense (insubordination) should she refuse to do so. This is not rocket science here, and for the sheer fact this is still continuing, I can only assume the board is playing games. Cast her to the wolves and let them deal with the legal issues themselves. The longer they continue their employment, the more likely the District itself will be a named defendant, and then it becomes our tax dollars. This should have been dealt with 2 weeks ago in the span of an evening.


      • Anonymous June 13, 2014 at 8:02 am #

        Excellent and well thought out comments.


  2. Sara June 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    The boards hands are tied… The district does not have the money to go through a law suit. It was either let her retire early or fire her and her file a lawsuit. It can not be proven that she made the posts. Obviously her husband took the blame. Fox would lose the suit if she filed one and we don’t have that type of money.


    • wrongonred June 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

      After looking at her contract, you cannot find anyway to terminate it? Anyone can sue for anything, all they need is money and a venue to be heard in. The contract is so lose, you can drive a truck through it. I am pretty sure even Bob Sweeney could argue on behalf of the School District and win a case like that, which pains me to say.


  3. Anonymous June 13, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Bob Sweeney on the right side of a lawsuit? Are pigs flying?


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