A divided Alabama Board of Education has approved a contract for the state’s new school superintendent, who has drawn both criticism and praise for his outsider status.
The board on Thursday voted 7-2 to approve the contract for education consultant and former Massachusetts education secretary Michael Sentance.
After the vote, Sentance told board members that his goal is to raise the achievement of students in Alabama public schools.
Sentance will take over as superintendent on Sept. 12.
A board member and public hearing speakers, opposed to the hire, said Sentance was unqualified because he does not have classroom experience or an advanced education degree. Others urged the board to welcome Sentence, saying he would bring fresh ideas.
The four-year contract will pay Sentence $198,000-per year and will also give him a $1,750-per-month housing alliance.