According to this article in the Pioneer Press, the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan school district refuses to disclose the reason why the Henry Sibley High School principal will be paid $64,590 to voluntary resign. This is in direct violation of a new law passed following the payout of over $250,000 to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district’s HR director last year. While ISD197 feels they are within their rights in this instance, it certainly breaks the spirit of the law.
From the article:
Robin Percival will receive $64,590 to voluntarily resign as principal of Henry Sibley High School effective Jan. 28, according to the separation agreement. District officials acknowledged they investigated a complaint against Percival but took no disciplinary action.
The money is the equivalent of her remaining salary and benefits for the rest of the school year. School board members approved Percival’s resignation Monday, Feb. 4.
In exchange, Percival agrees to drop any potential legal claims against the district.
It’s fairly clear from the article that ISD197 is in direct violation of the law as it was written and their attempts at skirting it are more than obvious. While it may be embarrassing for school districts to admit whatever it is they’re doing to hush up employees, they are public entities and should allow for full disclosure when such dollar amounts are involved. When rewritten, the bill should hold a provision that anyone involved in a coverup of public information, regardless if it was a personnel issue or not and regardless if it “was within the law” should be immediately fired and fined an equal percentage of the amount over $10,000 paid to the departing employee. Watch how fast this garbage stops.
Do you think it’s acceptable for school districts to skirt laws meant to open their actions to the public? Do you think employees/board members/etc of the district who are involved in these sorts of coverups should be removed and fined? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.