Former Fulton County school board Superintendent Cindy Loe will step back into the job in an interim basis after the coming resignation of Superintendent Jeff Rose. Phil Skinner/AJC

Fulton sets salary, hands reins to interim school chief

Fulton County Schools will pay an interim superintendent $1,255 a day while searching for a leader to replace Jeff Rose, who stepped down as superintendent six weeks before his previously announced resignation date.

Rose announced last month he would leave for unspecified personal reasons before his contract expires Oct. 31, 2019. His resignation came amid board talks about renewing his contract and prompted outcry from some parents who supported him.

The initial terms of his departure called for him to remain the active superintendent until the last day of the semester on Dec. 20, resign Dec. 31, and be paid $248,832 to work as a consultant from January through June.

But a district spokeswoman said Monday that Rose’s last day was moved to Nov. 16 to give interim superintendent Cindy Loe more time to assist with preparing the next budget, for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Loe, who the board announced two weeks ago would serve as interim superintendent, will be paid as an independent contractor at a rate of $1,255 per day, according to a copy of her contract obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Her contract began Nov. 12, and she’ll hold the position until June 30, unless the board terminates or extends her term. Her total pay during her months as interim superintendent is not to exceed $184,000, the contract states.

Loe also will receive a $1,000 per month automobile allowance, “in light of the unique geography of the district,” which is split between north and south Fulton County “and the extensive travel required,” her contract states. She will not receive health or other benefits.

The district’s website has been updated to list Loe as its interim superintendent.

Loe, not Rose, was seated at the table with the school board members at a Nov. 15 board meeting, during which board president Linda Bryant said Rose was working with Loe “to create a smooth, orderly and efficient transition.”

“We have agreed that there are important items such as budget priorities and parameters that need to be developed. These decisions will be made during the time that Dr. Loe will be serving as our interim superintendent. Therefore, in the best interest of the district and in order to provide Dr. Loe the opportunity for input regarding important budget decisions that will be made under her tenure, she is stepping in now as interim superintendent with Dr. Rose continuing to be a resource during this period,” Bryant said.

Loe worked as Fulton’s superintendent from 2008 to 2011 before retiring.

She said at last week’s board meeting that she left the post because of an aging parent and was pleased to return.

“It was very, very hard for me to leave at that time. The highlight of my entire career was the time I spent with you as superintendent of Fulton County Schools,” Loe said.

Despite Rose’s earlier departure, the district still will pay him according to the terms of a “transition agreement” signed Oct. 25. The agreement includes paying his $295,000 salary through the end of December, paying his consultant fee, and making a $44,250 contribution to his retirement plan.

District officials previously stated that Loe will not be a candidate to fill the permanent superintendent role.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.