Saturday, June 23 2012, 07:41 PM CDT
BISD board to consider early retirement agreement with Dr. Thomas
BEAUMONT - by Scott Lawrence - KFDM News has learned the Beaumont school board is talking about the possibility of an early retirement agreement with outgoing superintendent Dr. Carrol Thomas. Thomas has said he plans to retire by the end of the year. Dr. Timothy Chargois is the superintendent-elect. Thomas has served as superintendent for about 16 years. Board president Woodrow Reece told KFDM News that during several previous workshops trustees have talked about the possibility of an early retirement agreement with Dr. Thomas. Monday's school board agenda calls for trustees to consider, and if appropriate, take action to approve such an agreement. Reece said Dr. Thomas has expressed to the board his interest in the possibility of leaving before the end of the year. Reece told KFDM it won't be immediate and the board must work on the school district budget, but in his words "probably by September 1 he may be gone." Reece added the board must agree to it. "We have two superintendents," Reece told KFDM News. "One elect. one already here. It's kind of getting a little crowded to the point it's like having two grown families in one house. Dr. Chargois is ready to take on his duties and I think it's time to. Not to say 'get the superintendent on his way' but to work out something to get the new superintendent online." Reece said the board is still working out the logistics with the school district attorney. He told us someone who retires automatically gets sick leave and annual leave, and they're working out the other details. He said it "won't be the false rumor of a $1 million payout." Reece told us he's reviewed other agreements with outgoing superintendents in the area to see what happens in buyouts. Reece said he "wants to be fair and doesn't want to take anything away from Dr. Thomas." School board member Mike Neil told us he isn't in favor of a retirement agreement for Dr. Thomas if it goes beyond basic compensation. "I'm against that 100 percent," said Neil. "We've been talking about budget problems and trying to save money. I'd be really surprised and very disappointed if there is an an agreement that would pay him extra money. I think he should be paid through the end of his work time. He's made a good salary with us, he's done a lot of good work, he's got a good retirement coming, but I think when he finishes working is when he should stop being paid his salary." The board has approved a contract with incoming superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois. It'll pay him a salary of about $215,000 a year. Reece told us that Monday the board will vote on pay raises for teachers and administrators, and Dr. Chargois will be entitled to a raise. "Dr. Thomas' contract and Dr. Chargois' contract aren't even close," said Reece. "The idea of raises for superintendents might scare some people but it shouldn't. If a district is doing well and teachers are getting rewarded then the person at the top must also be doing something right."