Advocates’ Corner
Quick tips for signing your first superintendent contract
January 22, 2024
Superintendent openings are beginning to be announced. Your first contract sets the precedent and must have clear, specific language. Be sure to request enough time for a thorough review by ACSA’s Member Assistance and Legal Support Team (MALST) and/or your personal legal counsel.
Below are a few basic tips for analyzing your new contract.
Term: The norm is three years, include annual contract extensions with a satisfactory evaluation.
Salary: Scheduled salary increases aligned with percentage increases on other staff salary schedules.
Evaluation: Agreed upon objectives and timeline dates.
Termination: “For cause” language is based on Education Code 44932; “without cause” is based on Government Codes 53260 (12-month buyout) aand 53261 (health benefits for the same period). Government Code 53261 uses the word “may pay” 12 months. We suggest using “shall pay” for 12 months.
ACSA Resources:
  • ACSA Superintendent Sample Contract and Contract Check Sheet (available by request, use form referenced below).
  • Contact MALST for assistance in reviewing your contract.
  • Go to www.acsa.org/legalsupport. Complete the form, and you will be contacted by an Advocate.
Come join ACSA Advocates during their contract session at 2024 Superintendents’ Symposium, Jan. 24-26 in Indian Wells. Team Advocates John Almond, Janet Morey, Gary Rutherford and Lloyd Wamhof will offer an interactive session on strengthening your existing contract language.