Fort Worth school district trustees approved a new five-year contract for Superintendent Kent Scribner on Tuesday night, a move they say will help him focus on improving student achievement.
Scribner, hired in September 2015, has about two years left on his initial contract. Trustees voted 8-0 to approve the new contract, which takes effect Jan. 1. Trustee Ann Sutherland was not present for the vote.
Scribner said his base salary of $330,000 is not changing. The performance bonus incentive increased in the new contract from $10,000 to between $15,000 to $25,000 per year at the discretion of the board. The incentive is only payable if the superintendent meets his performance goals.
“I really appreciate the board’s confidence in me and their service to our students,” Scribner said. “We are very eager to get to work and continue improving this district.
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“I’m committed to this community. I put down roots here. I am a parent in Fort Worth ISD as well and I am very eager to help with the fundamental transformation of this district. I want to be a member of this community for a long time.”
Scribner said he will focus on improving reading skills among young students, improving math skills among middle school students so they are ready are algebra-ready and making sure high school students are prepared for college or the workforce.
Scribner has been highly visible in the community since his hiring to replace Walter Dansby, who resigned as superintendent in June 2014. When Scribner began his tenure, Pat Linares was serving as interim superintendent.
Scribner said he has focused on listening and learning about the district and community. He leads more than 87,000 students and 11,000 employees.
Board President Jacinto Ramos Jr. said Tuesday’s action was a vote of confidence in Scribner’s work.
“Meaningful change can only occur when there is strong and stable leadership,” Ramos said in a statement. “Our ‘team of 10’ is fully committed to doing what’s best for the children of Fort Worth.”
Scribner has drawn both criticism and praise. Last spring, he outlined guidelines aimed at protecting transgender students. His critics included Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who called for his resignation.
Supporters said he listens to what the community needs.
“We’re very excited about the leadership Dr. Scribner brings to the district. I believe his alignment of resources, ISD personnel and student initiatives are going to bear fruit quickly,” said Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
In February, Scribner eliminated 10 high-level executive positions as part of an “educational redesign” meant to push resources to struggling schools.
Thornton said Scribner understands the needs of business and has provided the chamber insight into the challenges facing Fort Worth.
“We look forward to working with him to prepare Fort Worth’s future workforce,” Thornton said.
Under his original contract, Scribner had a base salary of $330,000 a year and a car allowance of $1,000 a month.
He was also eligible for performance of $10,000 per year. Trustees authorize the incentive based on whether they believe he met goals established by Scribner and trustees, which he said he met on Tuesday.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.