School Board Member Criticizes Superintendent's Contract

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

February 15, 2006
Most contracts have a start and end date, but some are saying Dr. Larke's does not. A.K. Hasan has been a board member for just two months, but already he's making a lot of noise criticizing the terms in the superintendent's contract.

As A.K. Hasan flips through the contents of Dr. Larke's contract, he spots something he says isn't right.

"When you read it, gives the impression that it is perpetual in nature and a perpetual
Contract is illegal," said A.K. Hasan, district 9.

What he's referring to is the first paragraph which defines Larke's current term as July 2005 through June 2008. But read a little further and you'll learn if Larke is given a satisfactory evaluation by the board this year, he'll be issued a brand new contract that is good for another three years, making his end date not 2008, but 2009. It's what's called a constant rollover.

"All contracts in Georgia should have a beginning and ending date. And this particular contract appears to have been designed to skirt that particular process," Hasan said.

Dr. Larke did not return News 12's phone calls but his director of public information did release this statement on his behalf: "He has no comment and that any contract negotiations will occur at the appropriate time with his Atlanta attorney."

With newcomer Hasan already making noise leads some to believe there's bad blood on the board.

Mr. Hasan insists this is nothing personal and that in no way does he wish to fire Dr. Larke or replace him. He says it's all about maintaining the public's trust.

"I'm trying to, if you will, wrestle away from him some of the power he has to put the school system back on a better footing so that we at some point can make a transition in a new direction," Hasan said.

A direction he hopes will be clear-cut from start to finish.

And that direction, according to Hasan, means making a smooth transition should Larke decide to retire. We also asked him why he thought this hasn't ever bothered school board members in the past. His guess, the political climate, and that Larke's supporters would never have wanted to tamper with his contract.

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