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2017 State Legislature: Bills to stop contract buyouts die in House committee

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A state House committee on Friday tabled two pieces of legislation aimed at stopping public school superintendents, college presidents and university coaches from getting what some lawmakers referred to as a “golden parachute” when their contracts are terminated early.
The House Education Committee action effectively killed both bills, sponsored by Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque.
The decisions came on bipartisan votes, with some lawmakers and members of the education community arguing that the measures would hinder the ability of school districts and colleges to recruit high-quality candidates for top jobs.
Much of the discussion Friday centered on recent controversy involving Robert Frank, the former president of The University of New Mexico who agreed to step down in December under a deal with the board of regents that allows him to continue collecting his annual salary of $350,000 through May.
Under the agreement, Frank can continue working at UNM in a $190,000-a-year tenured position. In the meantime, he has been job hunting. Frank is one of four finalists for the president’s position at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.


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