PHILADELPHIA - School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite says he will not ask for a contract renewal at the end of his term next year.
"After a lot of personal reflection, I decided not to pursue a renewal of my contract and that’s my choice so I had informed the board of that choice," Hite said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
Hite arrived in the city in June of 2012 when schools were being buffeted by cost-cutting and layoffs. During his tenure, the school district was returned to city control with a school board appointed by local officials.
Hite was praised by Mayor Jim Kenney and school board members for his "strong and stable leadership," but a member of city council and a frequent critic Helen Gym believes the rough start of the new school year shows the need for new leadership.
As the school year opened, schools have been shuttered from COVID outbreaks, trash has piled up on school grounds, and busses have failed to make scheduled routes.
He bristled at the criticism, saying, "It's eight years of work compared to three weeks after returning from a pandemic where people have been out for 18 months."
Hite, who earns more than $330,000 yearly, will depart in August. He said he plans to remain in the region.
The school board said it will hire a search firm to assist in finding Hite’s replacement. Board members pledge to give parents, teachers and staff a voice in the hiring.
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