Monday, July 2, 2007

Tacoma superintendent to walk with $400,000

Posted at KOMO-TV - Seattle, Washington

Who says that there aren't lucrative opportunities in the field of public education? Especially when getting fired can be the financial equivalent of winning the lottery.

After just one year on the job, the Tacoma schools' chief is out of a job. Dr. Charlie Milligan was fired, but he leaves with several hundred thousand dollars of the district's money.

The Tacoma School Board members are figuring out where to go from here now that they've fired their superintendent. Because the board fired him "without cause", the termination includes a $400,000 severance package - one and a half times his salary plus benefits.

Not bad. It seems that he was fired because some people didn't like his style.

But in the end, the board says it was Milligan's heavy-handed management style that did him in.

"When he saw the achievement gap as low as it is, he wanted so quickly to do it 'right now', that perhaps he moved too fast. And when you move too fast you can step on toes," said board president Connie Rickman.

I guess they want someone who gets results, but even more important is that everyone likes them.

Here is your education money at work, paying this guy nearly a half million dollars as he is shown the door. At least in this case they know that they're paying people who aren't working.


Meagan (North End) said...

The entire school board should be recalled. At least Milligan tried to change the status quo and provide accountability. Because a few adults were snubbed from doing coffee with the superintendent, it cost the district $400K. That is a pretty expensive cup of coffee for adults who can't handle being snubbed.

Sopater said...

No kidding.

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!! Superintendent ousted by phantom group of citizens, no names, no faces, no identities.

No signatures are on the June 14, 2007, letter submitted to the Tacoma School Board and Superintendent by a phantom group claiming to be a "coalition of citizens."

We can only conclude that a phantom group of citizens with no names, no identities, no faces forced a Superintendent out because of their need for secrecy.

Letter attached by reporter.

Sopater said...

I wouldn't quite say that it's "breaking news", but it is interesting. The link that you provided is related to a June 15 news story at the News Tribute. The letter was presented by a group of people led by Mr. Tom Hilyard of the Black Collective. Sponsors of the group consisted of members of the Sound Alliance, several school district labor unions, including the 2,100-member Tacoma Education Association, Jobs With Justice, parents, members of several neighborhood councils, former members of the citizens levy campaign, and retired teachers. Although there are no names on the document that you provided, there is reason to believe that names could be produced. However, that doesn't mean that they were right and that Milligan was wrong, only that these folks had issues with him. Given the presence of the labor unions, I wonder what their real issues with him were.