Tuesday, October 03, 2000

CPS board extends superintendent's contract

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A divided Cincinnati Board of Education extended Superintendent Steven Adamowski's contract by three years Monday night.

        In a 4-3 vote, the board agreed to a contract that will keep Mr. Adamowski as superintendent through July 31, 2004.

        There was concern among some board members that the extension is premature and ill-timed. They said the board should be focusing on passage of a 6-mill, $35.8 million levy, which will be on the ballot Nov. 7.

        Members Catherine Ingram, Florence Newell and Harriet Russell voted against the extension.

        “This takes the emphasis away from the levy and puts it on the leadership of the district,” Ms. Newell said.

        John Gilligan, Lynn Marmer, Sally Warner and Rick Williams supported the measure.

        Mr. Gilligan, the board member who proposed the extension, said extending the superintendent's contract sends a clear message to the public.

        “I'm not at all sure the people of the community are aware of the achievements in the past year,” he said. “In order to keep that kind of momentum going, I thought it was important to give a public vote of support to our leader.”

        Mr. Adamowski was hired Aug. 10, 1998. His current contract ends July 31, 2001. He makes $136,200 and is eligible for a raise of up to 10 percent.

        Mr. Adamowski said he appreciates the board's support. He said the extension was not something he sought.

        Will he stay until 2004? “That depends on a lot of factors,” he said.

        The board gave Mr. Adamowski a very favorable review last month, citing the district's improvement in 18 of 30 academic indicators, and six of nine other measures.

        State law prohibits such extensions except during a 14-month window around the contract's end.

        The law allows contract extensions of up to five years.

        The previous school board vot ed to extend the superintendent's contract by one year, 13 months after he was hired but discovered that move was not allowed.

        At Monday's meeting, members of the Cincinnatus Association, Parents for Public Schools, Cincinnatians Active to Support Education, the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, the NAACP and the AMOS Project — a coalition of 25 faith-based service organizations — voiced their support for extending Mr. Adamowski's contract.


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