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— State Sen. Kim Hendren, R-Gravette, would like state lawmakers in 2011 to look at and improve a new state law enacted this year concerning superintendents' contracts.

"(The new law) did make some changes that help a little bit, but I think we'll look at it again in 2011 for two things: first, to see if we can do more with it that needs to be done, and second, how did it work?" Hendren said last Wednesday.

In the last regular state legislative session earlier this year, Hendren pushed the idea of limiting the term of superintendents' contracts.

His idea resulted in part from his study of recent problems in the Decatur School District. The State Board of Educationplaced the district in fiscal distress on July 14, 2008, and later voted to take control of the district.

In the legislative session, Hendren first offered Senate Bill 30 to limit the employment contracts of superintendents, deputy superintendents and assistant superintendents to two years, subject to annual renewal.

Too often, contracts for longer periods of time can become a burden to the school districts that offer them, he said when the bill was introduced.

Later, Act 1203, sponsored by Hendren, passed. That law allows a superintendent's employment contract with a school district to be terminated for cause and without the school district having any further financial obligation to the superintendent.

Unfortunately, the legislation had to be weakened to be passed, Hendren said.

Sports, Pages 7 on 09/09/2009

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