Kalamazoo Parents Are Angry With KPS Superintendent’s Parting Gift
Just days after an abrupt resignation with little explanation by the former superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) Rita Raichoudari, many parents and residents have thoughts on the inner workings of the latter's exit deal.
It's come out that in a mutual agreement between Dr. Raichoudari and the KPS School board that she would resign from her position as superintendent and in return she would be given $225,000, be paid for 23 unused sick days, and they would pay her COBRA insurance through May of 2023.
In the most recent board meeting, Dr. Raichoudari was absent as the board accepted decisions to approve staff retention bonuses and another to accept the resignation of the superintendent to be effective immediately.
Once parents and other members of the community found out that this wasn't a "simple" resignation, they had a lot to say about the conditions of the deal and feel as though Dr. Raichoudari got away with highway robbery.
A post on Facebook had the article attached and many Kalamazoo residents had their own thoughts to share when discussing the former superintendent and her interesting departure. Most of them were addressed at the benefits she received after leaving her job.
Many residents shared comments like "I see the golden parachute is still alive and well. KPS board are the fools for allowing this in her employment negotiation. Lesson learned I hope.", "Where else can you quit your job in the middle and get paid so much. That money could have been spent on education.", and even "Wish I could have that severance package! What the heck...you resign, and you get that money?? Something is not right here."
Most of the parents and residents are wondering what's going on behind closed doors and why this agreement was made. They feel like the benefits given weren't warranted and that the money could've been used to better the district. This got one person to say "I know these teenagers that drive a van called The Mystery Machine and they got a dog. We need to get them to solve this one."
Meanwhile, other commenters were simply just amazed and trying to figure out how they can set themselves up for a similar payday. Sharing statements like "we need to figure out how to get this type of deal!" and "Public servants have golden parachutes now, $223k + bonuses for the staff too in another piece I read last week. I should rethink my line of work in the private sector".
I don't know what occurred in private conversations between the two sides, and I don't know everything that has happened publicly, but I do know that many parents and community members were unhappy with the superintendent and don't seem to be happy with how her resignation went either.