Clayton BOE to amend Heatley's contract

The Clayton County Board of Education is scheduled to amend the employment contract of Superintendent Edmond Heatley on Monday night, but officials are keeping mum on what the amendment(s) will be.

Heatley received a three-year contract, with an annual base salary of $250,000, in May 2009, but only after a close, 5-4 vote, by school board members.

The board conducted a one-year job performance review of Heatley this past summer, and Chairperson Alieka Anderson said this is part of that review process.

Heatley is not leaving the district, she said. Discussions on how his contract should be amended, however, will take place behind closed doors, in an executive session, at the school board's monthly work session, she added.

"He'll meet with us to discuss specifics that he wants, and then, we'll make the recommendation coming out of executive session," Anderson said. "Since it is a personnel issue, I'm going to wait until afterwards to discuss it. I don't want to violate anything."

The board's work session is scheduled to begin Monday, at 6 p.m., at the Clayton County Public Schools Central Administration Complex, which is located at 1058 Fifth Ave., in Jonesboro. The school board is scheduled to vote on approving any amendments to Heatley's contract during the meeting.

Heatley could not be reached for comment on Friday. He is expected to unveil a new 90-day plan for the district on Monday, however.

Early in his tenure in the district, Heatley worked to make inroads with Clayton County parents, by holding a series of community forums in which he answered questions about the school system. Shortly thereafter, the district scored a success with the overwhelming voter approval of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) IV, in September 2009.

As his first year rolled on, however, the school system became bogged down in arguments over some of the superintendent's proposed budget cuts. Some of those cuts were extremely controversial and included: Eliminating transportation to charter schools and similar special programs; eliminating kindergarten and media center paraprofessional positions; and taking away health benefits for part-time employees, including school bus drivers.

At the same time, he ended up backing off of a proposal to spend $1 million, over three years, to implement a paperless technology system — when the school board already had a similar system that it hardly ever used.

More recently, in year two of his contract, the superintendent has faced new fights on the district's decision to begin enforcing a nearly 30-year-old school board policy that prevents the school system from providing transportation to students who live within a mile and a half of the schools they attend.

Nearly 4,600 students were affected by the decision, which was not announced until a few days before the 2010-2011 school year began.

Other items on the school board's work session agenda for Monday, include: Hearing a charter recommendation for the Unidos Dual Language Charter School; a lease agreement between the school system and T-Mobile South, LLC, for wireless communications network facilities; WORKTEC contracts with the Atlanta Regional Commission, and reviews of policies dealing with relationships with other agencies.