Farmington’s school district is back in the news, this time wasting an enormous amount of money by renewing the superintendent’s contract without the support of two newly elected board members. The two future school board members who won’t be in office until next year wished to postpone the renewal until after the details of the contract could be made public and when a third new member would join their ranks.
Unfortunately for taxpayers in the Farmington School District, according to this article in the Pioneer Press, after a 5-1 vote, the current Farmington School District renewed Superintendent Brad Meeks’ ridiculously expensive three-year contract. Why is it ridiculously expensive? Well, if you take a look at the salary of the retiring superintendent from Apple Valley-Eagan-Rosemount School District (District 196), you’d see that he retired making $191,000 and Brad Meeks’ three year contract starts out at $172,000/year. The very big difference between the two is in the number of students each superintendent oversees. It has been said that the public just doesn’t understand how much work a superintendent has to do, how many people he has to supervise, and how many students are under him, well, let’s compare Farmington School District to their neighboring district, District 196 and see what we come up with shall we?
In District 196 there are around 28,000 students under the guidance of the superintendent while in the Farmington School District (District 192), there are around 6,200 with growth in the next ten years to top 8,000. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t see how the Farmington School Board can justify paying Meeks 10% less when there are more than 4.5 times the number of students in District 196. This ridiculous salary comes right after the Farmington School District was admonished by the Minnesota Department of Administration when they refused to release a full copy of Meeks’ contract when requested by Tim Burke who is now on the Farmington School Board but was only a candidate at the time. You would think that after building the $100 million dollar shrine to Tiger Sports that they would take it easier on the taxpayers and do the responsible thing and wait for the new board, elected by the public to tackle the issues the school district is forcing upon the people. Unfortunately, the current Farmington School District, with the exception of one, took the low road and screwed over every single taxpayer in Farmington, parts of Lakeville, Castle Rock, Empire, Eureka, and Vermillion townships. I am disheartened by the entire ordeal. The Farmington School District members should be ashamed of themselves for behaving like a bunch of crybabies.
It’s obvious to me that the current school district board is trying to teach the taxpayers a lesson for electing those that were opposed to their past actions. Working in cahoots with the likes of Charlie Kyte, Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators which is a group of, surprise, superintendents and other educators who only want to better the salaries of their members. Charlie’s comment to the Pioneer Press is too precious to avoid. He really shows off that PhD when he says that it would be “dumb” to allow the future school board to approve a superintendent’s contract in the first few months of their terms. Avoiding the will of the taxpayers makes the current Farmington School Board members seem just as “foolhardy” has Charlie feels the now irrelevant course of action would have been.
Are you a resident that lives within the boundaries of the Farmington School District? Do you support the action of the current school board members or would you have rather had the new school board members vote to approve Meeks’ contract instead? Comment on, I’d like to know your feelings on this one.