The Guthrie Public Schools Board of Education voted 6-1 to add a policy that requires a superintendent to reside within the boundaries of the district. However, the policy could lead to future litigation.
In their regular scheduled board meeting Monday evening, the board adopted the Separation/Recruitment of Superintendent by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. The policy describes the format of hiring a superintendent for the district.
The highlight of the B-34 (Term of Office and Salary of Superintendent) policy states as a condition of employment for superintendents hired after July 1, 2006, the superintendent shall be required to reside within the boundaries of the district.
According to a OSSBA legal note, districts that adopt the optional language requiring the superintendent to reside in the school district are hereby provided with notice that this requirement could lead to litigation for the school district as a potential violation of the United States Constitution Commerce Clause as well as a violation of due process should the district attempt to require a currently employed superintendent to move into the school district.
Current Guthrie Superintendent Terry Simpson, who is set to retire at the end of this school year, has not reside within the boundaries during his 18 years of service in Guthrie, including his eight years of being superintendent.
Citizens have shown their displeasure with the current format, and have expressed, through the board, of wanting change in the policy.
1st Vice President Tom Holtz casted the lone no vote.
The board continues to go through interviews in search of Simpson’s replacement.