Erroll Davis’ contract has been extended, but the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent who was brought in to clean up the mess after a cheating scandal that brought the district to its knees will be on a very short leash.
Davis was given an 18-month contract extension by a board supermajority vote of 7-2, but is contract will include two trigger clauses that would give the board the power to fire him with 90 days notice at any time. His extension will begin in July.
The two dissenting votes were from board members Brenda Muhammad and Nancy Meister.
The deal was struck after hours of debate amongst the school board, which required a seven-vote consensus, instead of the typical five-vote majority, to retain Davis after he stirred up serious controversy by removing six administrators from North Atlanta High.
Davis is obviously no stranger to controversy. He was brought in under the shadow of the APS cheating scandal to help repair the damage by Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed after former Superintendent Beverly L. Hall left in the summer. At the time he said his goal was to make a difference.
“When I look back at my life, I don’t want my contribution to have been shaving a few eighths off a bond deal to make a million dollars,” he said when he was appointed.
He’ll have about two years to prove to the school board that he can.
Davis was the previous chancellor of the University System of Georgia. His salary as superintendent is less than half of what he had there, but he was still earning $240,000 a year under the terms of his previous contract, according to EducationNews.org. No financial terms of his new contract were reported.