Birmingham BOE approves contract extension for embattled superin

Birmingham BOE approves contract extension for embattled superintendent

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Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

Embattled Birmingham School System Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon will get a two-year extension on his contract.

The BOE approved the move Tuesday during a scheduled meeting but not all board members are happy.

There were five who voted in favor but four others had issues with the way the vote was presented and did not like the contract.

They say they felt as though they were forced to vote on it because of state-appointed CFO Ed Richardson.

Virginia Volker, Alana Edwards Haynes and Tyrone Belcher all abstained from the vote. Emmanuel Ford voted 'no'.

An issue brought up by Haynes is that there is a court order under the state takeover that prevents the board from voting on Dr. Witherspoon's contract without having something in writing from the state department of education.

Haynes tried to get the vote tabled but it failed. Dr. Richardson told the board the court order was not an issue and state superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice was aware of the contract vote.

Belcher said he felt the contract was being forced down the board's throat. He also didn't agree with an item that adds an additional year to Witherspoon's contract if he gets a positive review during his annual evaluation.

Volker says she abstained because there are too many questions surrounding the contract extension.

Dr. Witherspoon did not want to respond to those board members who are against his contract extension. He says he wants to focus on moving the district forward.

His new contract begins July 1, 2013 and goes through June 30, 2015.

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