The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Rodger Nichols
For The Sentinel 

Cost for school district to release Heid more than $200K


August 29, 2018

The Goldendale School District and former Superintendent Mark Heid have parted ways, but that parting came at a substantial cost. The Sentinel obtained the agreement between the school board and Heid through a public records request.

The agreement was signed by Heid on Aug. 4 and by school board chair Deborah Heart on Aug. 6, but it was agreed by both parties that the effective date of his “unconditional and irrevocable retirement from any and all contracted duties with the District” was June 30. Here’s how the money stacks up.

The district agrees to pay him the full amount of the remaining year on his contract: $171,283, and that his per diem rate for vacation and sick leave is $713.68 per day. That leads to the following additions:

• 30 days of vacation at $713.68 = $21,410.40

• 12 days of “attendance incentive compensated at a 4:1 ratio as set forth in RCW 28A.400.210 at $713.68 = $2,141.04

• 45 days of sick leave at $713.68 = $32,115.60

• Up to $2,000 in reimbursement to cover “travel. lodging and other costs for in-service workshops” he will attend between now and June 30, 2019.

That adds up to a total of $228,950.04.

There is an additional unknown cost for health insurance, including dental and vision coverage. Though the district will stop paying for insurance for Heid and his family immediately, the district will pay him a stipend on the last day of each month from Aug. 31, 2018 to May 31, 2019, equal to what they would have paid the insurance company for that coverage.

Other provisions state that the district and Heid agree that his evaluation for the 2017 school year “will not be completed nor placed in Employee’s personnel file. The District agrees that any draft evaluations will be destroyed.”

They also agreed that Heid would release the district from any claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

And both parties agree not to say anything disparaging about the other.

In order to cover his duties, the district entered into a contract with the Educational Service District (ESD) for the services of Ian Grabenhorst to serve as Superintendent.

The contract calls for the district to pay a flat $700 per day for the services but expects him to work only two days per week for 34 weeks, for an estimated $47,000 for the year.

Heid is now the K-6 principal and superintendent at the Tekoa School District in Tekoa, Washington. His annual salary there is $105,656.


There are at least two ways of characterizing the cost to the district of this transition. One way would be to say the district is paying more than $228,000 to someone who will be performing no work for the district and $47,000 to someone who will.

From a budget perspective, the district had budgeted for Heid’s salary and would have paid him the $171,283, and probably the mysterious “attendance incentive” of $2,141.04 and the $2,000 for conferences for a total of $175,424.04 but probably not the buyout of the vacation and sick leave. In that case, the extra cost to the district could be considered the total of the vacation and sick leave buyouts plus the ESD contract. That totals $100,526.

Either way, it’s a lot of money.


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