Kimbrough Considering Job Options

Times Staff Writer

Supt. Ted Kimbrough, a new multiyear contract in hand, is weighing his career options and has not yet decided if he will continue as chief administrator of this city's schools.

Kimbrough, whose contract was extended Tuesday to mid-1989, said late Wednesday that he has received offers to be superintendent of two larger school districts and also has the option of returning as an administrator to the Los Angeles city schools. He refused to identify the school districts.

"When you are offered positions that are very attractive, you consider them," he said. "And these positions are going to be available to me by July 1."

He will announce by March 15 where he will work next school year, said Kimbrough, 50, who was hired to direct the 27,000-student Compton district in September, 1982. He earns $75,000 a year, plus benefits.

Resignation Threat

Kimbrough threatened to resign Tuesday evening after the school board delayed action on his request for a contract extension for himself and nine of his top aides.

The trustees, on a 4 to 3 vote, then granted extensions for all 10 administrators. The school board majority said it wanted management stability for the district, which has had 11 superintendents in 15 years.

Board President Kelvin Filer, who voted to extend Kimbrough's contact, said Thursday that he thinks Kimbrough is committed to the Compton contract, and "I fully expect him to honor (it)."

But trustee John Steward, who has called for Kimbrough's resignation twice in

the last month, said it bothered him that the trustees had committed themselves to Kimbrough without the superintendent making a similar commitment.

"That's why I asked that the decision be postponed until he makes a decision," said Steward. "But personally I think it's a bluff. He has tremendous problems here, and I really feel he's looking for a graceful way out."

Kimbrough said that his threat of resignation was serious and necessary.

"It was purely a need for me to find out whether or not the board wanted to have me as a superintendent, along with my administrative team," he said.

March a Key Month

It was important that he know the trustees' intentions now, because March is a key planning month for the next school year--a time when teachers are assigned and administrators are told if they will remain in their positions, he said.

"For me to begin to plan for other people's futures didn't make much sense if I didn't know whether I was going to be in the chief executive's seat here," he said.

Kimbrough's old contract ran through September, 1986, but the contracts of his nine top aides would have expired June 30 had they not been extended for two years, he said.

Like Kimbrough, five of those aides are on leaves of absence from other school districts, said Kimbrough. Four of the five have said they intend to stay in Compton, but Asst. Supt. Theresa Harris has submitted her resignation and will return to the Los Angeles city schools, the superintendent said.

Kimbrough and three other aides he recruited--Associate Supt. Robert Sampieri, Vocational Education Director Riley Johnson and Management Information Director Ken Flood--are also on leave from Los Angeles schools. Associate Supt. Elisa Sanchez is on leave from the San Diego school district.

Those from Los Angeles have been formally notified that their leaves will not be extended beyond June 30, said Bill Rivera, spokesman for that district. They have been asked to let the Los Angeles district know this month whether they intend to return, he said.

All five administrators would assume positions equivalent to those they left and be paid accordingly, Rivera said. Kimbrough left a job that would now pay about $1,000 a year more than he receives in Compton, Rivera said.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World