Porter receives about $500,000 for resigning

Thursday, January 24th 2008, 7:15 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

Dr. John Porter is receiving about $500,000 as part of his agreement to resign as superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Porter, who had been on the job about six months, resigned Wednesday after being suspended earlier this month for possible financial irregularities.

Under the agreement, the school district will pay the remainder of Porter's salary for this school year, a little more than $71,000.

In conjunction with the settlement, Porter also gets another year's salary, $225,000, plus $30,000 more for his legal and public relations expenses paid for by the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation.

"We offered to be of help, if they wanted us to be of help," said Stanley Hupfeld, foundation chairman and Integris Health CEO.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation is a private foundation that's been supporting Oklahoma City public schools for more than 20 years.

"We do scholarships," Hupfeld said. "We do recognition for teachers. We do teacher awards. We sponsor mentoring programs."

Hupfeld said the foundation hasn't given a financial settlement before and doesn't plan to do so again, but under the circumstances, he said it  was necessary.

"What we were heading into was a protracted legal dispute, which would have taken more than a year," Hupfeld said. "It would have clearly taken the school board's eye off the ball of operating our schools."

Hupfeld said the deal had been under discussion for about a week and a half, and given the potential legal costs the district was facing, and the fact that Porter did have a 3-year contract, they felt comfortable making it.

"We're obviously sorry, as an organization, that this dispute occurred, but once it did occur, we just through it was best, and a number of a donors thought it was best, to put this behind us and allow us to move on as a community," Hupfeld said.

Hupfeld said the $255,000 the Foundation paid Dr. Porter was donated specifically for this purpose and should not detract from any of the other support they provide the district.