National News

Ex-Delavan-Darien Superintendent gets $160,000 payout after mass layoffs

Posted July 21, 2018 12:32 p.m. EDT

— Several laid of teachers and parents are outraged to find out that the former Delavan-Darien superintendent will be paid out more than $160,000.

Laid off teachers say that $162,000 could be used to put two to four teachers back to work. However, the school board says that money is locked into a contract.

"I was appalled. So many teachers have been affected, their families have been affected, our community has been affected and yet he gets to save face,' said laid-off teacher Karleigh Kramer-Britt.

It's been three months since Kramer-Britt was laid off from her teaching job in the Delavan-Darien School district. She says it's been a hardship on her family.

"I have a new baby who's 3 months old now. I have a 3-year-old. It's a huge hardship," she said.

The district's former Superintendent Bob Crist was forced into an early retirement after a bookkeeping error led to mass layoffs.

At that point, School Board President Dr. Jeff Scherer says Crist was halfway through a two-year contract.

"At the end of the first year he was asked by the board because of the issues with not passing a referendum to retire early. But he did have a 2-year contract and we missed the date to not renew his contract by a long time, by more than a year," Scherer said.

Scherer says the district likely would have gone into a legal battle if they hadn't paid Crist out, something they didn't want to be a part of.

"Do you understand their frustrations with that? Of course. It's money we don't have," Scherer said.

As Kramer-Britt continues her search for employment, she's frustrated her former boss gets to move on with a big paycheck.

"He got to retire and say he was retiring and save face and in reality, I think he should have been fired and publicly fired," she said.

This school district plans to give another $2.5 million referendum another go this fall. Scherer says it would increase teaching staff by 25.