The $1 million good-bye

An Indiana school superintendent received a $1 million retirement package, reports the Indianapolis Star. The Wayne Township School Board agreed to the deal with then-Superintendent Terry Thompson in 2007.  Board members now say they signed without knowing the costs.

Thompson, 64, retired in December after 15 years with the district. He received a year’s base pay at more than $225,000, hundreds of thousands of dollars for unused vacation and sick days, a $35,000 early retirement bonus and a consulting contract as “superintendent emeritus” that has been paying Thompson $1,352 a day to advise his successor.

That amount, over the 150 days laid out in the contract, would pay him more than $200,000 — bringing the total to more than $1 million.

In addition, the contract called for one other perk — a onetime $15,000 stipend for “retirement planning.”

Thompson already has collected about $800,000 but is now “negotiating” to resign the superintendent emeritus job.

Since 2007, Wayne Township schools have cut 127 teaching positions;  teachers did not receive a raise last year or this year. In addition, the district cut funding for elementary sports and math textbooks.

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  1. Hmmm… something tells me the board members who voted in favor of this package will not win the next election

  2. Tim-10-ber says:

    Why are vacation days allowed to roll over year after year? Sick days…same question. Vacation days are to be used in the year granted and sick days are there only if needed. Waste of more tax payer dollars. Government perks need to be damped down…now,

  3. Michael E. Lopez says:

    I don’t think it’s the rolling of vacation that’s the problem. I think it’s the valuation. If you’re a salaried employee, then you collect your salary even if you take vacation. If you don’t take the vacation, there’s no need to give you the FULL pro rata value of each day. 25% seems reasonable. But 50% would work, too.

    Just for example’s sake: Let’s say you earn $365,000 a year. That’s $1000 per day. If you take a vacation day, it’s worth about $1000 or so, because you get paid even though you don’t show up. That doesn’t mean you should get paid $1000 for not taking it. You could just as easily be paid $250 for not taking vacation, or $500.

  4. As a teacher in California, I’m not allowed to sell back my unused sick days. (although unused ones do roll over)

  5. Like Michael said, the issue isn’t the rolling, it’s the valuation. My employer is fairly generous with vacation days, and they are allowed to roll over – but there is a hard cap of four weeks (still pretty generous) on how much you will be paid for unused time – and that only if you give appropriate notice and aren’t let go for cause.

  6. A million bucks to just go away? Seems like they could have found someone else to go away for less.