The highest paid school superintendent in Missouri will receive a raise when his district’s new fiscal year begins July 1.
David McGehee’s new three-year contract extension with Lee’s Summit School District calls for him to make a base salary of $304,300 for the 2016-2017 school year, plus an additional $60,857 in deferred compensation for forgoing other employment opportunities.
McGehee returned a signed copy of the contract April 27 but asked that the board have a discussion about other options for a transition in leadership. The board met in a closed session to discuss the request and approved entering into negotiations with McGehee to discuss potential options.
The district released details of the signed contract Monday. McGehee declined to comment.
McGehee’s salary for the 2015-2016 school year was $276,286 with an additional $80,500 in deferred compensation.
For the 2016-2017 school year, McGehee is scheduled to make $326,494, with an additional $47,565 in deferred compensation.
McGehee will earn a base salary of $337,199 in the 2017-2018 school year of the extension, plus an additional $46,248 in deferred payment.
The contract stipulates that McGehee will defer salary increases in 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 to the following year if the school board is unable to award salary increases to staff.
McGehee’s base salary includes items such as family medical insurance, business expenses and vehicle allowance.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 School Board of Education approved the new three-year contract offer to McGehee on April 7.
Board president Terri Harmon said she is pleased with the agreement.
“I’m relieved that the contract is signed,” Harmon said.
While Harmon was prevented from discussing the ongoing talks, she said the emphasis is on the district’s future.
“We are trying to figure out the best option forward for the district,” she said.
Board member Bill Baird said he voted against the contract extension. Baird has been publicly critical of McGehee’s dealings with Guin Mundorf, one of the law firms that provide legal work for the district.
McGehee’s girlfriend, Shellie Guin, is a principal in the firm.
In response to Baird’s demand that he resign, McGehee called for Baird to step down instead. McGehee later apologized and called for a better working relationship.
“I am proud to have not voted for the contract because it restructured his current contract for no other reason than to help Dr. McGehee get more money from the Public Schools Retirement System for no more work done,” Baird said. “In the midst of the public crisis we are in, I did not feel it was an appropriate time to offer him a new contract.”
Baird also questioned the fact that McGehee signed the contract nearly three weeks after the board’s initial offer, but at the same time requested that the board discuss a transition for him.
The request “reveals exactly what we have been dealing with as a board,” Baird said. “We have a superintendent that has no concerns … for the district as a whole, but is more concerned with posturing and leveraging for a better negotiation.”
According to a report by Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri, McGehee’s total compensation package for this school year made him the highest paid superintendent in the state.
Add in pension contributions from both McGehee and the district at 14.5 percent of McGehee’s base salary, and his total compensation package was nearly $397,000, although the district’s portion does not go directly to McGehee, Harmon said.
“It goes into a pool that is divvied up and goes to all of the retired teachers and administrators,” she said. “He does not see that money directly.”
McGehee manages one of the state’s largest school districts and is responsible for overseeing a budget of about $231 million and employees numbering more than 2,600.