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In-Depth Look at District 186 Superintendent's Job Contract
The top educator of District 186 has been shopping for jobs in other states, even though he's under contract until 2014.
In 2009, Superintendent Dr. Walter Milton Jr. inked his intent to stay with District 186 for five more years.
Yet since then, he has applied for, and been seriously considered for, jobs in Rochester, N.Y., Madison, Wis. and now for the second time in Little Rock, Ark.; according to a local newspaper there.
But how can he apply for other jobs while under contract here?
We sat down with attorney Jason Vincent at Delano Law Offices. He has no affiliation with District 186, but gave us his legal opinion.
"It appears terms are set out, but if Mr. Milton decides to leave early, there doesn't appear to be any type of provision where he's going to lose money from the past as far as a penalty or any kind of a buy out clause," he said.
Milton's employment agreement outlines benefit after benefit: a salary of $220,000 a year, a work year of only 248 days, 22 vacation days, and health and retirement benefits.
There is a section that outlines the district can fire him for just cause, but there's no mention of a penalty should he leave before the contract expires and nothing states if he leaves, he has to give notice.
Teachers and parents have criticized Milton for looking for other jobs during a budget crisis here as schools are being closed, and the district is cutting positions.
Mlton didn't return our call for this story, but this is what he told us after Monday's school board meeting:
"I know that I have a desire to have an extension, but I think that there's a lot of shifting happening, especially with the transitioning of one board to another [after the election] and I think that those things hopefully, those conversations will take place but we're dealing with the current situation now and I think that that's overriding everything else."
We called one of the attorneys for District 186. Eric Grenzebach confirmed there are no penalties built in to Milton's agreement should he leave before it expires.
He added that generally speaking, if an employee breaks a contract, the employer could file a lawsuit for breach of contract, but only if there's a financial loss.