Anybody who's been following recent developments in the Buffalo Public Schools should not be surprised to hear that Deputy Superintendent Folasade Oladele resigned on Wednesday.
We know she's been looking for another job.
We know the Buffalo Board of Ed hasn't exactly been thrilled with her lately.
And we know some people on the board have been pushing for a pruning of the exempt staff.
So her departure does not exactly come as a shock. The board's decision to hand her $168,000 and a year's benefits, though, comes as something of a surprise, given that her contract entitles her to a buyout of only one-fourth that amount and no benefits.
Keep in mind that Oladele is getting exactly what she would have gotten had she continued working in Buffalo through the end of her contract, which would have expired in June 2012: a full year's pay, plus benefits. Only this way, she gets the pay and benefits without having to work here for the next year.
(Board member Chris Jacobs, who was one of three who voted against accepting Oladele's resignation because of the package the board gave her, noted that what the board got in exchange for that money was a mutual agreement not to file any lawsuits. Hmm.)
But the upper-level personnel changes are not going to end with Oladele.
Rumors have been circulating around City Hall for awhile that a few other exempt employees would soon be out of a job.
Apparently, there's good reason those rumors have been circulating.
On Wednesday, the superintendent told me that he expects to announce more resignations of exempt employees -- he would not say how many -- by the end of the month.
Williams insists Oladele's resignation was not forced.
“It’s not unusual, when a superintendent is leaving, for senior staff members to look at other options,” he said.
Well, that may be true in some cases.
But Williams himself announced his retirement only last week. Add to that the fact that for much of the past week, Oladele was in Kentucky, where she delivered a high school graduation speech back in her hometown.
And what you get is quite an interesting set of circumstances.
Which seem likely to be just the first such set of circumstances that we'll see unfolding in the next few weeks.
- Mary Pasciak