DeSoto ISD trustee speaks out on former superintendent's deal

Dr. Kathy Augustine

Credit: WFAA

Dr. Kathy Augustine was on the job as new DeSoto ISD superintendent for just one day before the school board placed her on leave.




Posted on September 10, 2011 at 9:42 PM

DeSOTO — Former DeSoto ISD superintendent Dr. Kathy Augustine walked away from the district with $188,000... for a single day of work.

The figure includes a $156,000 settlement and $31,000 in "on leave" payments.  The severance agreement went into effect on Saturday.

Trustee Sandra Wheeler voiced her disappointment with the arrangement. "It's a bad deal all the way around as far as I'm concerned," she said, adding that she feels taxpayer dollars went to waste.

"Even if we waste one dollar, one dollar is too much," Wheeler said.  "That's money that could have gone to programs, our kids."  

Augustine had been on paid leave since July 11 after being accused of participating in a cheating scandal in the Atlanta public school system, her former employer.  The administrator has denied all allegations.

The district included the details of the negotiated agreement in a news release received by News 8 on Friday.

"The Board, while taking full responsibility, feels this closure allows the district to move forward without further distractions toward the goal of becoming an exemplary institution," said trustees in the release.   

The district added that it was "humbled by this experience."

Trustee Wheeler said the district community, from teachers to students, deserve more than that.  She offered an apology.

"I think sometimes when we make fiascoes, we are so ashamed and embarrassed about what we've done that we don't want to say that," Wheeler added.  "But I think in the long run, it's better to say that I'm sorry... that we did make a mistake, and that is what we did.  I'm not speaking for the board — only me."

DeSoto ISD will evaluate its superintendent search process and plans to include community input.

News 8 contacted other district board members and board president Warren Seay Jr. for comment. We have not received a response.