The Toledo Board of Education made a long-term commitment Tuesday to its new superintendent.
The board unanimously approved a four-year contract extension for Superintendent Romules Durant. With his current one-year contract, the extension gives Mr. Durant a five-year term that ends July 31, 2018.
Board members had decided last month to offer Mr. Durant a three-year contract, but board President Brenda Hill said Mr. Durant requested a deal that would keep him in Toledo Public Schools for at least five years. Ms. Hill said that request created a win-win for Mr. Durant and the district, as consistent leadership is important for a school district.
“I say I’m glad to have him for five years,” she said.
Mr. Durant said his decision to ask for a longer than normal contract was because he wanted to prove to the community that he is invested in Toledo. A native of the city and graduate of Waite High School and the University of Toledo, Mr. Durant said he wanted to repay Toledo for the opportunities he’s been offered.
“It only makes sense to reinvest that energy that was put into me back into the community,” he said.
Mr. Durant, previously an assistant superintendent in TPS, took over for Jerome Pecko on Aug. 1 after the previous superintendent’s three-year contract with the district.
He led a campaign this year that saw voters approve a 6.5-mill, five-year tax renewal request by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.
Under the terms of the contract, Mr. Durant will be paid $175,000 a year. He’ll be given $500 a month for a vehicle. The contract requires that Mr. Durant, who lives in Springfield Township, move into the city by July 1. Mr. Durant has said previously he planned to move into the city without the requirement.
The salary for Mr. Durant is the same given to Mr. Pecko, but will be a raise from the $140,000 paid to Mr. Durant under his current one-year contract.
The contract extension has similar goals to those given to Mr. Pecko, including addressing the achievement gap among students and trying to get the district to the state’s top rating.
The board also Tuesday approved a three-year contract with the Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel, the union that represents about 300 principals and other administrative staff.
The contract includes many of the same wage provisions as those given teachers, including 1 percent raises on Jan. 1, 2014, and Jan. 1, 2015. But some administrators will receive significantly more.
Instead of giving uniform longevity increases, some building principals received new classifications to help address what Don Yates, administrative union president, said was a large disparity of pay between TPS employees and other districts. There were also changes in the contract on how new principals are evaluated.
Tuesday’s meeting was the last for Ms. Hill and board member Larry Sykes. Ms. Hill chose not to run for re-election this year, and Mr. Sykes successfully won a Toledo City Council seat.