A new five-year contract and $130,000 annual salary were approved July 20 for Lorain County JVS superintendent Glenn Faircloth.
Since one year remains on his existing contract, the new one will run from 2018 to 2023.
Faircloth thanked the board for its trust and touted accomplishments such as reducing yearly expenses by $2 million, passing two levy renewals, and issuing an iPad to all JVS high school students.
“I hope we can continue to move in a positive direction,” he said. “There’s a lot we still need to get done and I thank you all so much. We were deficit spending when I got here and I’m proud we’ve been able to change that while also moving forward with new initiatives that haven’t asked homeowners for more tax money.”
The contract approval came by way of a 12-1 board vote with the only dissenting voice belonging to Ayers Ratliff of Wellington.
Ratliff pointed to language in the contract that makes Faircloth eligible for a raise “in an amount equal to that granted to other administrative staff as a general increase,” saying it creates motivation for Faircloth to push raises for fellow administrators that would, in turn, increase his own pay.
Ratliff said “taxpayers would be on the hook for $1 million” when speaking of the totality of Faircloth’s contract over five years once benefits and potential raises are factored in.
He also expressed concerns over $3,500 in funds that Faircloth is eligible for in yearly reimbursement for professional development, the remainder of which goes into annuity.
“We’re making it so that taxpayers have to live with our decision for six years whether they like it or not,” said Ratliff. “We have no way out of this unless Glenn gets another job or resigns or decides to do something different with his life.”
Board members spoke up for Faircloth.
“Our salary schedule goes through the finance committee, the treasurer, the five-year forecast, and the process of looking at other districts before it’s determined,” said board president Deborah Melda. “It’s not just Glenn saying, ‘They’re all going to get nine percent raises.”
Board member Rex Engle said former superintendent John Nolan was making more money at retirement than Faircloth is now.
At the start of the meeting, Ratliff said that Faircloth had accused him of having a racist motivation in fighting approval of the new deal. Ratliff also said 50 instances of plagiarism were found in Faircloth’s college dissertation by iThenticate, a plagiarism detection service based in California.
He threatened to file an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, against Faircloth.
Faircloth did not respond to Ratliff directly during the meeting and denied the plagiarism accusation.
“I hope that Mr. Ratliff in his great investigation took the time to actually read my dissertation,” he said. “My dissertation was my life’s work. To plagiarize it, I would have had to plagiarize my life. My dissertation is about working with African-American boys and literacy. My research took me away from literacy and into their interaction and environment. My question became, why are boys reading at a lower level than girls on standardized tests?”
When asked after adjournment about accusing Ratliff of racism, Faircloth said he’s only concentrated on his job.
“What I’m going to focus on is the work,” he said. “That’s what this board hired me to do. I’m a young superintendent but this is my 19th year in education. Any time I’ve worked for anyone there hasn’t been directives or goals my bosses have given me I haven’t met. This board has given me lofty goals. We’ve had to make lemonade out of lemons and we did.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.