Last-minute pre-posting update:
Parents and Taxpayers! Fox C-6 JUST changed the Early Retirement rules to allow Arbeitman to walk away with $66,747: http://t.co/AQgsmzGxny
— Fox C-6 Watchdogs (@FoxC6Watchdogs) November 13, 2014
Wow! This change was made at the November 3 meeting, according to Fox C-6 Watchdogs – just in time for Arbeitman to cash in. The new policy includes a release from all potential lawsuits by the person taking the payout. Is that what this is about??
Fox School District administrator Andy Arbeitman – hired only 18 months ago after a sketchy exit from the De Soto district – plans to leave the district after this school year and walk away with a $66,747.50 voluntary early retirement incentive program payment (half his salary), even though it may be against district policy.
At the November 18 school board meeting – when a new superintendent is to be hired – the board will vote (p. 329) on whether to award this payment to Arbeitman. However, here is what school policy says about the early retirement incentive (p. 127):
Full-time staff members who meet all of the following conditions are eligible for early retirement pay upon leaving the employ of the Fox C-6 School District:1. Have completed a minimum of ten years of full-time service as an employee in the Fox C-6 School District.
That seems pretty cut-and-dry to me. With that policy in place, how is this happening? I welcome your explanation. The only one I could think of is that he perhaps worked at Fox in the past, but somebody would have mentioned that somewhere. He was superintendent at Twin Rivers School District in Broseley, Missouri before De Soto, although his LinkedIn resume lists neither job. Arbeitman is attempting to take advantage of the early retirement program before it is eliminated at the end of the school year.
You may recall that Arbeitman walked away from De Soto, where he became superintendent in 2007, with a $208,000 settlement after earning $74,000 while on administrative leave for five months. We don’t know the official reason why he was ushered out of the district, but an anonymous letter to the board said that:
He disregarded school policy by changing the sick leave policy for staff and did not discipline a student who brought a knife to school, had no regard for confidentiality, took credit for all successes within the district, asked staff members to spy on other staff, and looked at his phone every few seconds instead of giving people his full attention.
“Their loss is our gain,” she said.
- “We always look for the best person for the position and by far it was Andy Arbeitman.”
- “He is a wealth of information.”
- “He will be a welcomed addition to our district.”
I also recall her talking about him in an old Leader “what superintendents are paid” edition when he was at De Soto. I suspected that maybe she hired him to give her tips on how to get free money from the district (although she got plenty of that on her own). She commented on how she relied on him for advice. So one has to wonder if Arbeitman, who is about 50 years old, is leaving because his pal and champion Critchlow is no longer his boss?
Hopefully, school policy and public outrage can block this money from being paid out. And whether that fails or not, Arbeitman should not be replaced. The district has plenty of assistant superintendents already (although many of the current ones also need to depart).