At the end of last week, the Newton County School System announced an agreement reached between the Newton County Board of Education and Dennis and LaQuanda Carpenter, who are leaving for a school system in Kansas City, Mo., where Dennis Carpenter will take over as superintendent. The agreement was passed by a unanimous vote of all members of the school board.
The school board released the terms of the agreement to the media Monday: the agreement allowed the Carpenters to leave at the end of January and will pay the couple a combined $68,508.98, covering their salaries through May and benefits through June, when their contract would have ended normally.
Our understanding is that the board’s rationale was it was in the best interest of both the local school system and the Carpenters to part ways, so that the Carpenters could start their new life and the school system could begin to get back to the business of educating our school children.
Many people have questioned why the Carpenters were paid at all. Had an agreement not been reached, it’s likely they would have continued to work until their contracts ended June 30. Had that happened, the school system would have had two key personnel trying to juggle their current responsibilities along with preparing for a new life elsewhere.
If we had to guess, we would assume that all of the internal strife leading up and stemming from last summer’s ugly defamation lawsuit also played a role in the agreement between the school system and Carpenters.
In the agreement, the Carpenters agreed to release the school system from any and all claims.
One thing is sure: this agreement will make it a lot easier for all the parties involved to move on and heal.
This newspaper looks forward to everyone returning to the business of improving students’ lives and making Newton County the best possible place to live.