Superintendents of two of the largest school districts in Texas announced today they’re stepping down from their high-paying public jobs.
Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said in a press conference Thursday his “official last day” will be at the end of this year, though his current contract runs through July 2024. He previously served as superintendent from 2005 to 2011 before returning to the job in 2015.
Hinojosa’s contract, last updated in September 2019, gives him an annual salary of $351,750 plus performance bonuses, benefits, and expenses, as well as 25 paid vacation days.
Also on Thursday, Kent Scribner, superintendent of Fort Worth Independent School District since 2015, made public a December 16 letter telling the board of trustees he intends to leave when his contract ends in August 2024.
Scribner’s latest contract, signed in September 2020, gave him a salary of $330,000 plus performance bonuses, benefits, expenses, and 20 paid vacation days.
Both superintendents’ contracts contain the same termination clause:
This contract may be terminated by mutual agreement of the Superintendent and the Board in writing upon such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon.
According to the terms of Hinojosa’s agreement, after August 2021 the Dallas ISD board was free to terminate his employment without cause, in return for a payout of one year’s salary and benefits.
Scribner’s deal details a payout plan for a mutually agreed “early termination” of his contract. If he leaves after September 2022, he’s entitled to receive 100 percent of the remaining value of the contract, including salary and benefits—all at taxpayers’ expense.
Texas Education Agency reports as of October 2020 show Dallas ISD had 145,000 students enrolled, while Fort Worth ISD had 77,000 students.
TEA reports also show more than 60 superintendents with a base pay of over $300,000—two over $400,000.