CON­TRACT

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - Bbush@dis­patch.com @Re­porterBush

Ed­u­ca­tion and how this process has played out.

“We ap­proached Dr. Dixon’s de­par­ture with good faith that Colum­bus would honor the need for her to com­plete the school year. With dis­re­gard, they chose oth­er­wise. We wish her the best of luck.”

Last week, Cleve­land Heights-Univer­sity Heights spokesman Scott Wort­man said that rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both boards had en­gaged in dis­cus­sions with each other over Dixon’s start date and the obli­ga­tions she had un­der her cur­rent con­tract with that dis­trict.

Dixon said in a state­ment: “My orig­i­nal in­ten­tion was to stay through the end of the school year in (the sub­ur­ban Cleve­land dis­trict), but I un­der­stand the ur­gency in want­ing me there sooner in Colum­bus.”

Ohio law gen­er­ally pro­tects districts from con­tracted ed­u­ca­tors switch­ing jobs in mid-year, al­though it is un­clear whether the Cleve­land Height­sUniver­sity Heights school board was pre­pared to be­gin a le­gal bat­tle over the ques­tion.

Jim Posch, pres­i­dent of the Cleve­land Heights-Univer­sity Heights Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, told The Dis­patch in Septem­ber that it wouldn’t hold Dixon hostage to her con­tract, but that Dixon would stay there un­til this summer be­cause that’s what she had promised the board, and she would keep her word.

In ad­di­tion to her salary, Dixon can

re­ceive up to four sep­a­rate an­nual per­for­mance bonuses equal to up to 4 per­cent of her base salary, or just un­der $10,000 per bonus, if the dis­trict meets cer­tain stu­dent-per­for­mance bench­marks on the state re­port card. The bonus ar­eas are: K-3 lit­er­acy, mid­dle school lan­guage arts, high school grad­u­a­tion rate and stu­dent pre­pared­for-suc­cess. If she met all of them at the high­est “A” re­port card level, it would add al­most $39,000 to her an­nual pay. She would re­ceive 25 per­cent less, down to zero, for each grade lower than an “A.”

Dixon will re­ceive a $300,000 term life in­sur­ance pol­icy paid by the dis­trict, an auto al­lowance of $750 per month, a “tech­nol­ogy al­lowance” of $150 per month, health, med­i­cal and den­tal in­sur­ance and fam­ily sick leave, three per­sonal days, 12 paid hol­i­days and 30 va­ca­tion days granted at the start of each year. She can ac­crue up to 90 days of un­used va­ca­tion at a time.

The dis­trict will pay both its share and Dixon’s share to the State Teach­ers Re­tire­ment Sys­tem, which saves her just over $31,000 a year. It will also pay half of her Medi­care con­tri­bu­tion, worth about $1,750 a year at her ini­ti­tial base pay.

Dixon will re­ceive a one-time pay­ment of $10,000 to move from her sub­ur­ban Cleve­land dis­trict to Colum­bus.

The con­tract can be ter­mi­nated by mu­tual

agree­ment of both sides with 30 days no­tice, or by the board for cause — sub­ject to state law lim­its — or if she be­comes med­i­cally or men­tally un­able to per­form her du­ties.

Be­fore start­ing full time, Dixon will be­gin work­ing one day dur­ing the work week and up to a to­tal of 10 week­end days at a cost to the dis­trict not to ex­ceed $3,500 for her part-time work.

She will re­ceive up to 10 paid days per year to par­tic­i­pate in pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, with the dis­trict pay­ing for all travel and other ex­penses.

The de­lay in sign­ing Dixon, who was se­lected by the board Sept. 20, has taken on ur­gency be­cause the dis­trict is star­ing at a state takeover in a year-and-a-half if it can’t wrest it­self out of an over­all “F” grade on the state re­port card.

Dixon is in her fifth year as su­per­in­ten­dent of the Cleve­land Heights-Univer­sity Heights City School Dis­trict. She pre­vi­ously was the deputy su­per­in­ten­dent for the Sag­i­naw Pub­lic School Dis­trict in Michi­gan. Prior to that, Dixon spent nine years in Colum­bus City Schools from 200110, serv­ing six years com­bined as the prin­ci­pal at Brookhaven High School and at Colum­bus Al­ter­na­tive High School.

She be­gan her ca­reer in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion first as a so­cial stud­ies teacher and then an as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal in Akron Pub­lic Schools.

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