Irving Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden has resigned, effective immediately. Bedden and trustees cited philosophical differences. But no board members or Dr. Bedden would talk about the agreement or how much it will cost.
KERA has now obtained the resignation agreement between Dr. Bedden and Irving ISD’s board, below. It will pay Bedden $260,000 – a little less than his annual salary – if he doesn’t find a similar job in another school system by September 20th.
Irving ISD tells KERA that Dr. Bedden’s resignation agreement allows the former superintendent to use unused leave time up to 60 days to in order to keep getting pay and benefits. Adding up all his leave (from different ways to accrue time, including vacation, sick leave, personal days and EA which is 'exemplary attendance') Bedden has a total of 54.4 days, which about takes him to September 20th.
It was a unanimous, 6-0 vote accepting Bedden’s resignation. It would have been 7-0, but Board President Steven Jones was out of town. Jones helped lead the anti-Bedden board campaign recently. Trustees against him became a majority with newly elected board members Lee Mosty, Randy Randle, and Norma Gonzales.
That left Vice President Larry Stipes to read the prepared statement which said Bedden could now look for a new job and let the board hire another superintendent.
“The board and Dr. Bedden have entered into the agreement believing it is in their respective best interest in order for the board to pursue a different philosophical direction for the district.”
But there was no mention of what those philosophical differences were. The only other trustee publicly commenting was Valerie Jones, who voted to hire Bedden three years ago when he became Irving ISD’s first African American superintendent.
“It saddens me to vote on this tonight. Dr. Bedden, thank you. My deepest thanks to you and Ava for moving your family across America to join us here in Irving. I wish you God’s best blessings.”
Mary Richarte, whose child just graduated from Irving High School, was a little sad too, even though she expected it. She said this board had already signaled its intentions.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think they should have kept him a bit longer. He’s done good. I don’t think they’ve given him the opportunity to really do what he had in mind," said Richarte.
Whatever he had in mind, Bedden won’t do it in Irving ISD. His contract pays $248,000 a year, and it was recently extended into 2017. The district said it would release the agreement Tuesday. KERA has asked for details under the Texas Public Information Act.