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Paso Robles school superintendent to receive severance pay after resignation

Posted at 6:21 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 21:52:14-05

After resigning as the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District superintendent Chris Williams could still walk away with thousands of dollars in severance pay.

The contract, which the Board of Trustees approved back in August, says Williams can get a cash settlement for leaving the position early.

The amount is about one year’s pay, but some critics say he doesn’t deserve it.

Donna Docter’s daughter is a student at Paso Robles High School. She said Chris Williams doesn’t deserve a dime of the taxpayers’ money.

“Kids are the ones that suffer,” said Docter. “They don’t have the funding for all the classes and extracurriculars. It’s the parents paying for that too. So we get to pay double.”

According to William’s contract, the maximum cash settlement the superintendent can get is equal to a month’s salary multiplied by the number of months left in the term or up to 12 months.

His base salary is $214,833 which means the early termination payout could be close to a quarter of a million dollars.

The contract goes on to say that the formula is considered as a pay cap and not to be used as the target amount.

President of the board, Joel Peterson, said board members are working on the details with attorneys.

He said they are still finalizing an amount if there is one.

“We came to a legal agreement with Chris Williams and followed our legal obligations in our collective bargain requirements,” said Peterson.

He said the board will have to shorten the budget almost $3 million over the next few years.

Budget cuts will start with management to offset the deficit, but the board might have to resort to layoffs next year.

However, the good news Peterson says is that Julian Crocker will step in as interim superintendent.

Crocker was superintendent of SLO County and Paso Robles Joint Unified School District for a number of years.

Peterson said he is looking forward to welcoming the former district worker back to the board.

Williams resigned last week. Recently, he had come under fire for a budget crisis. The district was left with $2.1 million less than what was projected for this school year.