Neu Out As Oklahoma City Superintendent; Board Reaches Separation Agreement

Apr 25, 2016

Oklahoma City Public Schools has reached a separation agreement with Superintendent Rob Neu. He'll remain with the district, but on administrative leave, through the end of the fiscal year.

Updated 6:31 p.m.

The school board met in executive session for a little less than an hour Monday evening, and emerged shortly before 6:30 p.m., when Board Chair Lynne Hardin read from a statement.

"By mutual agreement, Mr. Neu will remain on administrative leave through June 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year, and will no longer be employed by the district effective July 1, 2016" Hardin said.

Neu will also receive a lump sum of $75,000 and forgo the final year of his three-year contract. The board also voted to give Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora the duties of superintendent.

"I am here for the long run," Lora said. "I have purchased a home in the school district and hope to serve the students of Oklahoma City for a long time. My mission is to prove that kids from low income communities absolutely can achieve at high levels if we properly prepare them and put the supports in place for them to succeed."

Neu faced criticism for never relocating his family to Oklahoma City from his previous position in suburban Seattle. He issued a statement through his attorney saying he was pleased Lora was stepping into the role, The Oklahoman's Tim Willert reports:

"I am grateful to have served as the superintendent of the Oklahoma City Public Schools," Neu said in a statement issued by his attorney Monday night. "I had the opportunity to work with an outstanding staff helping 46,000 on their path to their hopes and dreams."

"I am pleased that Aurora Lora is stepping in as superintendent and wish her the very best. I want to thank the 1,200 community members who gave us their time last year in developing The Great Commitment and determining what is most important for the students. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank my wife and children for sacrificing so much these last two years. I'm glad to be home with them and looking forward to our future together."

Original Post

Oklahoma’s largest school district will consider a "separation agreement" with its superintendent during a meeting Monday evening.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Board Chair Lynne Hardin said the body will meet at 5:30 p.m. to consider the future employment of Superintendent Rob Neu, as well as who would take over his duties if a separation agreement is reached. 

“We are unable to provide any additional information at this time since these are personnel issues,” Hardin said in a statement.

Hardin says the board will also discuss the role of associate superintendent Aurora Lora, who the district named earlier this month to take over Neu's responsibilities.

Neu has been out of the office since April 14, and reportedly told some board members he intends to resign. The Oklahoman’s Tim Willert reports it’s not clear if Neu intends to step down:

"We are aware of the recent statement by the school board," Paul Dillon, Neu's attorney, said in an email. "The agenda item is consistent with what we were told would occur.

"However, we are not in a position to make any further comment regarding this matter at this time"

Brandon Carey, general counsel for Oklahoma City Public Schools, declined to comment.

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