SHREVEPORT — Caddo Parish schools Superintendent Gerald Dawkins may be out of a job come August after the School Board voted 8-4 against renewing his contract.
During the board’s regular meeting Tuesday, members were quick and decisive in their voting — with only two members, Dottie Bell and Lillian Priest, speaking on the issue. They along with Carl Pierson and Mary Trammel were the only ones to support a two-year contract renewal for the superintendent.
Dawkins declined to speak about the board’s decision or what his plans are moving forward but did say the vote “boils down to something other than (district) leadership.”
Dawkins came to Caddo in 2008 after the departure of Ollie Tyler, who took a job at the state Department of Education.
His salary is $202,000 and includes benefits such as a district car, travel to all professional conferences and 25 vacation days per year.
Dawkins still has a few months left with the district because his contract does not expire until Aug. 11.
In his five years with Caddo schools, the sometimes controversial superintendent proposed a sweeping district master plan known as Vision 2020 and closed schools throughout the parish to address fiscal and academic woes.
Recently, the district had its performance with the state rise to a C rating from a D because of what Dawkins called “continued monitoring of academic performance.”
Board President Larry Ramsey said it is possible for the board to come back and offer Dawkins a different contract with other options.
Dawkins could also opt to retire before his contract expires.
If the board chooses to try a different contract, board attorney Reggie Abrams said it would have to act fast to meet the guidelines of Dawkins’ current contract.
Bell said she was in disbelief after Tuesday’s vote and wanted answers as to why the board would end Dawkins’ contract.
“This was the biggest mistake they could have made,” Bell said.
“I just can’t understand it. What did he not do? He is a good superintendent.”