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TMISD to consider all options in regards to suspended superintendent

Resignation settlement not approved
TMISD to consider all options in regards to suspended superintendent
Posted at 8:54 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 09:54:50-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Tuloso-Midway Independent School District Superintendent Doctor Rick Fernandez was once again able to keep his job Wednesday night.

It first appeared the district and Fernandez might part ways at a special called school board meeting on Sept. 29.

Instead, board members agreed to call for another special meeting Wednesday to consider a resignation settlement for Fernandez.

After almost three hours of debate in executive session, the board called for yet another meeting Monday and did not take action on what amounts to a buy out of Fernandez's contract.

Fully anticipating Fernandez's ouster, a concerned TMISD parent addressed the school board about him during the public comment portion of Wednesday's meeting.

"I did just want to say thank you to Doctor Fernandez for the time that the did spend here at Tuloso-Midway,” Melinda Gomez-Arriaga said. "I think he really brought to light what it would look like if we continued on the journey of becoming and continuing to be a campus of choice and a district of innovation.”

If the resignation settlement that wasn't approved had defined terms, school board members did not disclose them.

Fernandez has two years left on his employment contract with TMISD for around $190,000 a year.

The school district also risks losing a portion of it’s Foundation School Program funding from the Texas Education Agency if Fernandez’s severance payment exceeds one year’s salary and benefits, according to the TEA website.

Another concerned TMISD parent pointed out the financial hit the district will take as she addressed the board, which includes several members who voted to hire Fernandez a little more than a year ago.

“Why should parents, teachers, staff, (administrators), and students have to pay the price, literally pay the price, for your mistakes?” Cindie Gonzalez said.

For the first time, the school board offered an explanation for putting Fernandez on leave in July and considering his resignation settlement Wednesday.

Attorney for the school district, Tony Resendez, said it was over concerns about Fernandez's performance.