The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees is meeting Tuesday, Nov. 23 for its regularly scheduled meeting. The board plans to consider hiring consultants to look for a replacement superintendent and another consultant so “Trustees can compromise to work better as a team,” the meeting’s agenda notes.
The board allocated $60,000 for a search firm to replace Superintendent Kristen McNeill, who announced she will retire in 2022. Four firms will present to the board starting at noon.
Also to be discussed is a possible $80,000 payout to McNeill for unused sick time. School staff said the payout is normal.
“It is recommended that the Board of Trustees approve payment in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of her unused balance as of the date of retirement. This is also consistent with other Superintendents who have received a sick leave payoff at separation, regardless of the reason for separation,” a staff report noted.
Previous superintendents received the following payouts:
- Traci Davis – employment contract specified the number of days to be paid out versus a percentage (30.5 days paid)
- Pedro Martinez –25% of accrued but unused sick balance (47 days paid)
- Heath Morrison – 50% of accrued but unused sick balance (27.75 days paid)
- Paul Dugan – 25% of accrued but unused sick balance (62.5 days paid)
Other agenda items include hiring shortages, COVID-19 mitigation updates and approving a cost-of-living pay increase for school police.
An arbitrator sided with the school police union to grant officers a 2.8% increase. School officials, citing in part declining student enrollment and the massive Incline Village property tax settlement, said it could only give them a 1% increase.
The arbitrator disagreed.
“While the District’s financial situation is not robust, the General Fund is financially healthy enough to fund a modest [cost of living adjustment] and a lump sum payment to police officers, sergeants and the detective…” the arbitrator said.
Watch the meeting online: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChHIK-aa3yh6Z4EHo1Zntwg
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.