Former Pittsburgh schools chief hired in Georgia

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A troubled Georgia school board voted unanimously this morning to hire former Pittsburgh schools chief John W. Thompson as its "corrective superintendent."

The Clayton County Public Schools board voted 5-0 to hire Dr. Thompson on a contract that runs through June 30, 2009. The contract leaves open the possibility of keeping Dr. Thompson in place beyond that date.

Two board members did not attend the special meeting, and two board seats are vacant, school district spokesman Charles White said.

Dr. Thompson had not yet signed the contract but indicated he would do so, Mr. White said. If that happens, he said, Dr. Thompson would begin work Monday.

The district would pay Dr. Thompson an initial annual salary of $285,000 and offer raises after that. The contract provides various benefits, including a car.

Twelve miles south of Atlanta, Clayton County is Georgia's fifth largest school district, with more than 52,000 students. Because of board turmoil, the district is at risk of losing its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

After a series of conflicts, the Pittsburgh school board ousted Dr. Thompson in 2005.


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