OKCPS Superintendent To No Longer Work For District Effective July 1

Monday, April 25th 2016, 9:10 pm
By: News 9

After nearly two weeks of controversy, Oklahoma City Public Schools finalized Superintendent Rob Neu's departure.

In Monday night's board meeting, they voted on a separation agreement after less than an hour in executive session.

The agreement said Neu will no longer work for the district starting July 1, 2016. That's one year earlier than his original contract. Until then, he will be on paid administrative leave.

"By mutual agreement, Mr. Neu will remain on administrative leave through June 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year, and will no longer be employed by the district effective July 1, 2016," OKCPS board chairwoman Lynne Hardin said in a statement.

The document shows the district will pay Neu an additional lump sum of $75,000; $47,000 of that in cash and the rest to his retirement plan.

It also said the terms of the agreement are to be kept confidential.

Board members continued to say they can't release the reasons for the separation because they were discussed in executive session.

Despite that, the president of the Oklahoma City teachers union Ed Allen said he is happy with the outcome of tonight's meeting.

"I think it will be important for that to come out. There were some ethical issues but for us it boils down to that no Neu is good news for us," Allen said.

Only one board member voted against the separation agreement - Bob Hammack. All he could say was that it was what is conscious told him to do.

As for Neu himself, he released this statement: 

"I am grateful to have served as the superintendent of the Oklahoma City Public Schools. I had the opportunity to work with an outstanding staff helping 46,000 on their path to their hopes and dreams.

"I am pleased that Aurora Lora is stepping in as superintendent and wish her the very best.

"I want to thank the 1,200 community members who gave us their time last year in developing The Great Commitment and determining what is most important for the students.

"Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank my wife and children for sacrificing so much these last two years. I’m glad to be home with them and looking forward to our future together."

And Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora released this statement:

"I am honored to be given the task of leading this great school district, in this great city. I want to thank you for your vote of confidence, and assure our community that I will continue my commitment to build a strong foundation of support for our teachers and principals as they work to provide the quality education our students deserve. Our school board recognizes that continuity and stability are vitally important to maintain the positive momentum we are seeing in the Oklahoma City Public Schools.

"I am here for the long run. I have purchased a home in the school district and hope to serve the students of Oklahoma City for a long time. My mission is to prove that kids from low income communities absolutely can achieve at high levels if we properly prepare them and put the supports in place for them to succeed. Students are our number one priority. Families trust us to make sure our students graduate prepared for life.

"In recent months, we listened to the voices of over 2,000 stakeholders through The Great Conversation. We based our five year strategic plan, The Great Commitment, on that widespread community input. We set the vision for what we want for the children in Oklahoma City and that will not change. I can assure you that we will remain focused and on track as we pursue the collective goals you helped us develop.

"I have been training for many years for the role of urban school superintendent and this is right where I want to be. I’m ready. I care so much about the families, students and teachers. As a relationship builder, I look forward to listening to the voices that make up our community as we move forward to improve our schools. We have a lot of work to do, but I am confident and optimistic about our future.

"Again thank you for this honor."