As you know, Maria Goodloe Johnson was recently fired as the Seattle Public Schools Superintendent. She most likely will not apologize for her actions and didn’t even attempt to keep her job. It turns out she was making approx. $264,000 per year and is entitled to an additional $264,000 after she was fired per her severance contract terms. Don Kennedy, the school’s Chief Financial Officer, was also fired without cause. Mr. Don Kennedy was making approx. $174,000 per year and is entitled to $87,000 (half) after he was terminated. As we all know, that is how government works. They create contracts that none of us regular people would ever get if employed. We would be immediately terminated without notice but not when you have a leadership position with the city. I guess that makes you better than everyone else.
After reading those facts several things come to my mind. First, lets talk about skills and education. There are many well-educated school officials available all over the USA. We all know (if not – you should) that everyone is dispensable and a few job wanted ads in some of major publications will result in more qualified talent then we can handle. They will come from every state far and wide to work in the Seattle School District. No severance or contract would even be required. Maria Goodloe Johnson and Don Kennedy are not “that special” when it comes to their skills and education. I understand from a public relations aspect Seattle School Officials want the public to feel “confident” in their hiring decisions but their process and the “value” they place in these individuals is overrated. If they really wanted to make a change, with would hire them just like everyone else. We all should be equals when it comes to hiring and firing.
From a money perspective, they obviously are being way overpaid. Seattle doesn’t care about their spending and will just make up another law to take more taxes from you. It’s the democrats way to spend more than they have then claim they are broke and require more. In regards to salaries, $120,000 should be the cap for upper management. Like most positions – there should be no severance terms. You get hired and fired just like everyone else. It’s not needed and wouldn’t hinder the resumes from pouring in. This of course is the problem, Seattle leadership has created a monster and are now stuck with their bad policies and procedures. Changing these procedures would be a public relations nightmare and cast someone being a dictator or extremist.
There was an Audit published on February 23 that disclosed that the district expended over $1.5 million on endeavors of dubious public value, and nearly $300,000 on services that were not received. They found it to have, “questionable public purpose”.
Update 2023: Despite her efforts to address the district’s academic achievement gap and to improve overall student performance, her tenure was marred by a financial scandal involving a district-run small-business contracting development program. Maria Goodloe-Johnson passed away in 2012. The exact cause of death is unknown but family members stated she was sick for a year prior. She was 55.