Shortly after two new members took office, the Inglewood school board Wednesday night voted to rescind the firing of schools Supt. McKinley Nash, ending three months of bickering about whether the 63-year-old administrator should keep his job.
The five-member board discussed the personnel matter in closed session with the superintendent. Afterward, Nash exited the meeting with a broad grin on his face. Gloria Gray was the only board member opposed to the rehiring.
Shirley Mims, president of the Inglewood Teachers Assn., which has strongly supported Nash, was pleased. “We now have a head on our shoulders,” she said.
The board also agreed to extend Nash’s contract by one year to June 30, 1999, give him a 6% raise retroactive to July 1, 1996, and increase his monthly car allowance from $400 to $600. Nash receives an annual salary of $108,000.
Wednesday’s vote caps a tumultuous three months during which school board members vehemently argued with each other over the fate of the beleaguered administrator.
In April, the school board called a special Saturday morning meeting and voted 3 to 1 to terminate Nash’s contract, citing a lack of confidence in his leadership skills. School board member Thomasina Reed, a Nash supporter, was out of town that weekend.
But two weeks ago, Reed and Loystene Irvin, joined by Nash, won a temporary restraining order from a Superior Court judge that prohibited the board from putting Nash on leave and hiring a new superintendent. The restraining order was due to expire on July 1.
With new members Alice Grigsby and Eveline Ross taking office, there are now four Nash supporters on the board instead of two.
After the new board was installed Wednesday, members selected a new president and vice president. Former president Gray, an adamant Nash foe, lost her position to Irvin. Reed was elected vice president.
The board will have a number of problems to tackle in the coming year. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County Office of Education appointed a fiscal advisor to oversee all of the troubled district’s expenditures. A fiscal advisor will remain on the job, pending an audit of the school district’s budget. The county also must approve the salary increase the school board voted to give Nash.
The county intervention is the latest in a series of district woes, which include a couple of embezzlement scandals.