Cullman County Board of Education extends, amends superintendent’s contract

W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Board of Education on Thursday afternoon passed a “resolution to approve an extension and other amendments to (Superintendent) Dr. Shane Barnette’s contract.” Board members did not reveal the contents of the package during the meeting, but Barnette told The Tribune following the meeting that the package extended his term by two years and increased his salary to $168,000. 

Board member Kerry Neighbors voted against the resolution, telling the board and audience that he was not comfortable with the package, and saying that he was not notified that an agreement had been reached and shown the contract until shortly before the meeting. 

After the meeting, Neighbors told The Tribune, “I’m not in agreement with the contract, and I’m disappointed on how we were notified about it.” 

The board’s Public Information Officer Ty Watwood said that the contract should be ready for public distribution early next week. 

No impact on legislative action  

State Rep. Corey Harbison, who introduced a bill in 2021 to change the County School Superintendent’s post from appointed to elected as of 2024, told The Tribune, “That’s a school board issue. They have the authority to do that; it’s not anything set by the legislature, so they can do as they please. The superintendent issue will be on the ballot in 2022, November 2022. The people will get a vote if they want an elected or appointed superintendent. If it stays appointed, then everything stays the same. If the people choose to go with an elected superintendent, then two more years – in 2024 – there’ll be an election. That’s the way that’ll work. But what happened today is not a legislative issue.” 

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W.C. Mann