Knox Phillips
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb Schools pulls former employee’s consultant contract

A controversial item was quietly pulled from the DeKalb County Board of Education’s meeting agenda over the weekend that would have paid a former employee $200 an hour to stay on as a paid consultant.

Associate Superintendent Knox Phillips led the district’s office of accountability until June 30. His departure was not addressed by the district.

“The item was pulled for further review,” the district said in a statement. “No decision has been made as to if the item will come back before the board for consideration. If it does come back, it will be a temporary engagement and only used as a stop-gap measure to meet a critical need, if necessary. In the event it’s decided to come back before the board, terms will be commensurate with the former employee’s hourly rate and for a finite period only.”

District officials said Linda Frazier will be the internal contact for the office while plans begin to seek a permanent replacement.

School board members told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently that while Phillips had not signed a new contract, he would be staying on as a consultant.

“You never want to lose good people,” board member Vickie B. Turner said. “We’re in the posture of restoring confidence from a community, internally with our stakeholders. It gives you a bit of a jolt when you lose senior-level staff … (who) impact outcomes. He’s been a valuable asset to the district.”

Phillips is the sixth of nine top DeKalb County School District cabinet members to depart in the last year.

Aside from Phillips’ former job, the district currently has four interim chiefs sitting in Superintendent Steve Green’s cabinet, including the division heads for operations, legal, technology, human resources. The chief communications position was eliminated.

Some in the district have said it would be inappropriate for Green, who has announced plans to leave the district following the upcoming school year, to fill those posts.

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