Liberals are continuing to criticize former Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata for taking his severance package after being fired by the school board.
In the new issue of the liberal Independent Weekly out today, there's an item saying "Tony Tata took my lunch money." The Indy says that Tata's $253,625 severance package would buy 126,812 full-price lunches for Wake elementary school students or 634,062 reduced-price lunches.
"What Tata’s acceptance of the 'severance' money shows is this: His tenure as Superintendent was never about the kids; it was about him," Schofield wrote. "Anyone who would take a quarter of a million dollars from a financially strapped school district for not working as 'payback' or to ease his 'transition' or simply because he can get it, is not the kind of a person to lead such a vital public institution anyway."
Under Tata's contract, the school board could only fire him before his Dec. 31, 2014 end date by either alleging cause or by paying him a year's salary. It's a fairly standard piece of language in superintendent contracts.
For instance, former Superintendent Del Burns would have been eligible under his contract for 18 months of pay — $409,500 — if he had been fired. Burns chose to resign.
One difference though is that Burns didn't want to stay under the Republican board majority. As noted in Tata's severance agreement, he still wanted to be superintendent under the Democratic board majority.