The Wake County school board has voted 5-4 this afternoon along party lines to fire Superintendent Tony Tata, paying him one year's salary of $253,625 to terminate his contract early.
All five Democrats voted to fire Tata while the four Republicans voted no.
The board majority opted to pay Tata rather than try to fire him with cause, which would have allowed him to contest the decision. Tata was under contract through Dec. 31, 2014.
Stephen Gainey, the assistant superintendent for human resources, was named acting superintendent for up to 60 days.
Tata, who was not at Tuesday’s meeting, said in a press conference after the vote that he wanted to stay. Tata said he was “proud of all we have accomplished,” citing things such as the rise in test scores, the narrowing of the achievement gap, raising the accreditation status of the high schools, expanding the STEM and Global Schools and creating two single-sex leadership academies.
“There is so much we have to do — and so much more I wanted to do,” said Tata, who didn’t take questions from reporters after he read his statement.