Report: Educator severances cost millions

July 18, 2011

The Associated Press

A published report says severance packages paid to superintendents have cost Illinois taxpayers millions of dollars over the last decade.

The Chicago Tribune reports that school boards have given out six-figure separation checks, district-paid health care, cash for sick days and even a Mercedes to unwanted of superintendents. The newspaper reviewed more than 100 superintendent contracts, financial records and severance agreements over the last ten years. 

In one case the superintendent of a Cook County school district resigned after a just a year. He left with a $100,000 severance payment and had left a previous Lake County high school earlier, getting more than $30,000 in unused vacation. 

The head of the National School Boards Association says the behind-closed-doors deals raise questions about accountability and fiscal woes.