Letter: Did UCF board violate the law?

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To The Editor:

At the UCF School Board public meeting on January 23rd, the Board members took the remarkable action of accepting Superintendent John Sanville’s resignation with two years remaining on his current contract. This is probably the best thing this current board has ever done.

However, right after this action the board took what is probably the worst decision ever made in our district. The members of the board voted unanimously to give John Sanville a new five-year contract with an increase in salary to $255000,or a 15.4% annual increase. After six years the Superintendent’s salary has nearly doubled.

If he completely serves out this new contract, he will have served roughly ten years with an average yearly salary of $240,000. Additionally he will have earned benefits for vacations, a sabbatical, health  insurance, and funds for retirement.

The board’s action is highly questionable, definitely unethical, and possibly illegal. When an open position occurs in the district, it should be advertised, those interested in filling the opening should be interviewed, and the best applicant should be offered the  position. Board ignored all these steps.

Since John Sanville became the UCF Superintendent in 2011 at an annual salary of $180,000, the student body has experienced extensive bullying, drunken students have entered the high school building during class time, and three students have entered the building armed with knives.

I DO NOT RECALL SUCH ACTIONS HAVING EVER OCCURRED IN THE SIXTY YEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN A RESIDENT OFTHE DISTRICT.

The Superintendent allows some out of district students to attend our schools without paying any tuition or taxes. John Sanville lied by claiming this was not occurring. I am aware and have also been told this illegal action is still continuing.

The Superintendent and Board approved a $70 million renovation and expansion of the high school. In taking this action, the public results of two district referenda were completely ignored.

Annual budgets have grown every year at an average rate 1% greater that the  educational cost of living increases. The district’s taxpayers have not  experienced a year without a tax increase since 1998.

John Sanville has lost two excellent members from his staff. These were Sharon Allen Spann, Director of Pupil and Staff Services, and Kenneth E. Batchelor, Assistant to the Superintendent.

And finally the annual ranking of schools done by U.S. News and World Report last reported our district ranked #8 in our State and #510 nationally last year. In 2012 the magazine reported that UCF was 4th in the State and #394. Both rankings are significantly lower since Superintendent Sanville was hired.

All these dreadful results occurred under Superintendent John Sanville’s time in office. The board gave no reasons why our Superintendent deserves a raise or even continued employment in our district.

OUR DISTRICT DESERVES A MUCH BETTER PERFORMANCE  BY OUR  SUPERINTENDENT.

Bruce B. Yelton

Pocopson

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