Culver receives another contract extension

Culver receives another contract extension

CHAMPAIGN – Schools Superintendent Arthur Culver now has a contract that extends to June 30, 2012.

The Champaign school board voted Monday night to extend Culver's contract one year. School districts can have up to a five-year contract for superintendents.

The 5-2 vote, with board members Dave Tomlinson and Arlene Blank voting no, was identical to last year's vote, when the board extended Culver's contract two years.

Blank said a four-year contract "to me is quite a level of job security."

"There's enough dissatisfaction and lack of trust in the district that needs to be overcome, giving one more year, I don't think it's going to help that situation," Blank said.

She said the board gave Culver a good evaluation overall.

Board President Margie Skirvin said the board was pleased with the academic performance in the district.

"There is a lot of support with the way achievement has gone up dramatically," she said. "We're really glad the district made (adequate yearly progress on achievement tests). We're really glad the achievement gap is closing."

Skirvin said the board also discussed the different areas related to the district's consent decree.

"Some people are happier than others with the way things are being done," she said. But, "We know things are going better. We know things are going in the right direction."

"We need to see if he's doing the job he set out to do," she continued. "The majority of the board thought he is."

Culver will receive a raise of 4.5 percent for the 2007-08 school year, making his salary $226,049. His raise is tied to that of teachers.

The superintendent's annual evaluation is supposed to take place in January, but Skirvin said she doesn't believe the board has ever done it on time.

Last year, the district was preparing for its bond referendum in the spring, and this year it is completing a consent decree plan.

"It seems like it's a tough time to get people together," Skirvin said.

The performance criteria in Culver's contract have not been changed since he was hired, and Skirvin said that's something the new board may want to consider doing after the school board election in April.

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