by Rebecca Nuttall
Courier Staff Writer
On March 20, the Pittsburgh Public School District Board of Education voted to extend Superintendent Linda Lane’s contract for three more years. The vote 7-2 will leave Lane in charge of the district until June 2016.
“As we continue to evolve into a district of first choice for families, I am privileged to have been leading the Pittsburgh Public Schools in such a time of change,” Lane said in a release issued by the district. “I am honored to continue to serve the students and families of Pittsburgh, a place I now call home.”
The two votes of opposition came from District 2 Rep. Regina Holley who abstained from voting, and District 8 Rep. Mark Brentley who voted no. Prior to the vote Brentley said he would’ve liked the board to extend Lane’s contract for six months and then let the board reconsider extending the contract next January.
His reasoning was that four board members are not running for reelection this year. A change in four board members could lead to a drastically different board with different views on the direction of the district.
According to the release, Lane decided to keep her salary at $200,000, despite additional performance-based compensation she could receive in light of yearly performance goals she has met. By 2016, if Lane chooses to accept yearly increases, her salary could increase to a maximum of $265,000.
“We are very pleased with the steadfast leadership Superintendent Lane has provided during some of the most challenging times facing public education,” said Committee Chair of Negotiations, Theresa Colaizzi, in the release. “It was important for us to ensure that stable leadership remained in place, particularly as there will be significant Board turnover this year. It is critical that our work continues to meet our goals of accelerating student achievement, eliminating racial disparities and becoming a District of first choice for families.
Under her leadership we have taken several steps to address the District’s financial challenges, continue our focus on effective teaching, and reinforce our commitment to excellence and equity for all so that the children in Pittsburgh graduate prepared for post-secondary education and are able to take advantage of a Pittsburgh Promise scholarship.”