DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham Public Schools is paying out nearly $300,000 Friday to the district's departing superintendent, while also allocating $25,000 monthly to the interim superintendent who will take over.
All this comes as the district is struggling to figure out how to pay employees the raises they were previously promised. At Thursday's meeting the Board of Education voted to keep February paychecks at the increased rate, but what happens after February remains unclear.
Exiting Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga will receive a $297,759 severance payment for his immediate resignation. New documents reveal that Mubenga was aware of the multi-million dollar budget shortfall the district raises would create before they were rolled out.
Mubenga was making an annual salary of $297,759 per year or approximately $24,813 per month or $143 per hour.
ABC11 has also learned that interim Superintendent Catty Moore will be paid $25,000 per month as she serves in that role. She's contracted to work from February 9 through September 30. That means she'll be paid approximately $192,241 in total.
She also can receive up to $610 per week for lodging expense to live closer to work and reduce travel to her residence and $70 in one way travel from her home in Union County. She also allowed $600 a month for in-county travel expenses.
The architect of the pay raises at the center of the crisis causing repeated school closures was a consulting firm called HIL Consultants. District documents show the firm was paid $78,500 plus expenses to review existing wages in November and December of 2022, and then develop new, more competitive pay scales.
The updated pay scales changed the compensation for classified employees (which includes custodians, bus mechanics, receptionists and more) but also changed how the district calculated years of experience.
HIL Consultants estimated that those changes would cost an additional $10.8 million. However, due to inaccurate estimates the salary increases were actually on track to cost around $20 million.
In addition to Mubenga, the district's Chief Financial Officer Paul LeSieur also resigned. He first brought the pay problem to Mubenga's attention on Nov. 8, 2023. That's weeks before the pay scale changes rolled out district-wide.
The pay for classified Durham Public Schools employees ranges from $3,000-10,000 per month.
The pay for a Durham Public Schools teacher varies between $45,000-80,000 depending on certifications, educational background and years of service.
Durham Public Schools bus drivers make between $19-27 per hour.