RIDGWAY SCHOOLS Board to vote on superintendent's contract extension
Monday, 26 August 2013 23:40
By Bill Tiedje
A one-year contract extension for Superintendent Cheryl Gomez will be voted on by the Ridgway school board during its regular meeting on Aug. 27.
School board candidate Jason Gunning has questioned why the extension is being "rushed" as the superintendent's current contract will not expire until May 2014.
Gunning asked for more time and consideration on the issue in an e-mail to school board members.
"If you want to do it before the new school board (is elected), at least give the public time to respond," said Gunning, referencing the November elections for four seats on the five person board.
Gunning said he felt the issue was consequential enough to deserve a second reading.
Current school board member Bart Skalla has called for public input on the issue and requested the item be moved to the top of the agenda during Tuesday nights' meeting.
Skalla also confirmed the contract extension was requested by Gomez.
Skalla stated the central issue for not granting the contract extension was the limited, "lame duck" nature of the board, but also described the need to consider cuts to school administration.
"We've been through budget cuts from the 'Great Recession', some have been painful," said Skalla.
Skalla said administration was now the "low-hanging fruit" after previous cuts to teacher salaries and programming.
Skalla also cited Colorado Department of Education data that showed Ridgway school district paid more for administration than many other similar-sized schools in the state.
District office staff has argued at previous board meetings that this CDE data is difficult to compare between schools and does not take into account factors such as school performance.
School board chair, Roger Sagal, said he would reserve any comments he may have for the scheduled meeting on Tuesday evening.
No other school board members were available for comment on Monday, Aug. 26.