San Benito schools superintendent receives 4-year contract

San Benito package includes $202,776 salary

SAN BENITO — A new four-year contract would pay Superintendent Nate Carman a “lump sum” including his annual $202,776 salary, $1,800 monthly stipend and other benefits if he’s fired without cause.

Board members approved the contract, which includes that new clause, Tuesday night.

Carman’s previous three-year contract, amended February 2018, didn’t include the clause titled “termination without cause.”

“I appreciate the vote of confidence from the San Benito CISD board to unanimously extend my contract and approve my compensation,” Carman stated yesterday.

During Tuesday’s special meeting, school board members approved Carman’s request to include his clause titled “termination without cause.”

“If the superintendent is not terminated for cause, the parties agree that the district shall pay the superintendent a lump sum payment to fully compensate the superintendent for the entire value of all salary, medical and health benefits, all stipends to include longevity stipend and supplemental payments to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas due under the remaining term of the contract,” the clause states.

Board member Victor Rosas described the new contract as “fair.”

“I believe it’s a good contract for the gentleman and for everybody,” Rosas said. “That’s fair. If he’s not doing the work, we can terminate him.”

Board member Angel Mendez said he abstained from voting on Carman’s request to include the new clause in his contract.

“I’m not going to introduce new language and I’m not going to take it away,” Mendez said. “He’s trying to protect himself, great. I’m trying to protect the district.”

The new four-year contract, which runs through Sept. 4, 2023, compares to Carman’s previous three-year contract.

“It is very unusual,” Mendez said. “It’s usually a three-year contract.”

The new contract pays Carman an annual $202,776 salary, compared with the contract amended in February 2018, which paid a $198,800 salary.

Like the previous contract, the new contract includes a monthly $1,800 longevity stipend which pays Carman’s home rent while offering a mobile telephone allowance.

The contract, like the previous contract, would also pay $6,000 “to offset all related moving expenses.”

Contract fueled rumors

For about two weeks, rumors fueled speculation the school board had approved a contract that gave Carman a $1 million severance package.

“Unfortunately, there had been some speculation and incorrect information put out to our community,” Carman stated. “I’m glad to have this opportunity to provide clarification and the actual contract so any myths can be dispelled.”

Evaluation

Board members approved the new contract after giving Carman high marks on his job performance during a Sept. 10 closed-door meeting in which they conducted his evaluation.

Rosas, who said board members didn’t give Carman a raise, said the superintendent was doing a good job.

“I’m very satisfied,” Rosas said, adding Carman has helped boost student standardized test scores and teachers’ salaries. “He’s doing great.”

Mendez said Carman has been working to boost test scores based on a program launched in 2014.

“Obviously, we’ve seen scores go up,” Mendez said. “He’s doing a good job of sustaining what’s been implemented.”

Mendez also noted the district’s worked to increase teachers’ salaries.

“It’s something long overdue,” Mendez said. “There’s still room for improvement, absolutely. Are there allegations of favoritism? Yes. We can’t do anything about that until someone brings it up in a grievance.”