New superintendent to sign contract today

Dr. Frank Roberson will sign a contract at today's Richmond County school board meeting to become the district's next school superintendent.

The three-year contract will be formalized at the start of the 6 p.m. meeting, which is being held at the school system's central offices on Broad Street.

Exact salary figures have yet to be released, but school board President Marion Barnes has previously said it would be "a little less" than the $185,000 base pay former superintendent Dana Bedden received. He also has said a $15,000 bonus that Bedden was able to earn if he met certain goals will not be included in Roberson's contract. In June, Bedden left for a superintendent job in Irving, Texas, after contract negotiations broke down here.

Bedden had asked that the $15,000 incentive pay be included in his base pay, saying the performance pay option had created too much controversy. Since then school board members have said that -- in a time of furloughs -- they didn't plan to offer a new superintendent more than what Bedden made.

Roberson, an Aiken County native who has a home in North Augusta and has said he will be moving to Richmond County, most recently has been the superintendent of Marlboro County School District in Bennettsville, S.C. He was making $135,000 there, "but I allowed $20,000 of it to be applied to operations given state shortfalls to save teaching positions," he wrote in his application with Richmond County.

Roberson served as interim superintendent for Edgefield County, S.C., in 2006-07. The school board there had named him acting superintendent in March 2007, but contract negotiations stalled and he applied for the then-open Aiken County school superintendent's position.

Roberson has said he told the Edgefield County board that he had applied for the Aiken job and asked for a contract that would have let him leave with 60 days' notice if he was offered it. He has said he and the board parted on good terms.

Roberson has said he would be available to start as superintendent in Richmond County as soon as Aug. 23. For more information on tonight's school board meeting, visit https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/meetings/viewmeetingOrder.aspx?S=4137&MID=16032 to view the agenda.

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