Durham Public Schools' Superintendent Pascal Mubenga has resigned
Durham Public Schools' Superintendent Pascal Mubenga resigned late Wednesday.
The school board announced his resignation after a lengthy closed meeting and released a report on how the school system paid its staff raises for several months that were $9 million dollars over budget.
“It will show the implementation of these pay raises was poorly managed and shine the light on two serious issues — there was a lack of clarity and a failure of communication from the finance officer about the true cost of the proposed changes to the salary schedule,” said board chair Bettina Umstead.
The report found that former district CFO Paul LeSieur knew in February 2023 that the cost of the pay raises could rise from $10.8 million to $20 million based on how the district calculated years of service for staff. But LeSieur never communicated that to the school board and continually estimated the cost of the pay raises at $10.8 million, as the administration went forward with a decision to keep its longstanding practice of honoring work experience at private employers as state service — in a way that would eventually cost $20 million.
The report also found that Mubenga knew the raises were over budget in November but did not inform the full school board until January.
The school board voted unanimously to accept Mubenga’s resignation and to promote deputy superintendent Nicholas King to acting superintendent, until an interim superintendent can be named.
The board also announced that it has scheduled a first meeting with the Durham Association of Educators (DAE) next week to start a “meet and confer” process. DAE leaders have repeatedly made this demand during their protests that have shut down schools on two days.
The school board meets again Thursday night to discuss options for how to pay the school district’s 2,000 classified staff in February.