HAZARD – Perry County Superintendent John Paul Amis has a valid contract until the summer of 2016, according to the board’s newly hired attorney and the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability (OEA).
The OEA returned its opinion on Amis’s contract in response to a complaint alleging that the school board failed to approve renewals of the superintendent’s salary and contract. The agency did not reveal who had made the initial complaint in a memorandum dated June 7.
The Perry County Board of Education approved the latest version of Amis’s contract in June 2006. That contract called for his employment as superintendent through June 2010 with a salary 10 percent above the previous year, with at least a 2.5 percent increase each year after. The contract also calls for his employment to be extended for one year annually, according to state statute, unless the board votes otherwise.
The board since 2006 has annually voted to extend Amis’s contract for a period of one year. At present, his contract is set to expire in 2016.
In the OEA’s memorandum that Amis released to the Herald this week, the agency concluded that Amis is currently operating under a valid contract, as the board has lawfully extended that contract through the rollover provision for the past six years.
“OEA finds no violation of law regarding Superintendent Amis’ contract with the Perry County Board of Education,” the OEA’s memorandum reads.
The board’s attorney agreed with that assessment during a special called meeting on June 15. Attorney Mike Schmitt of Painstville was hired as the board’s new attorney last week, and immediately entered into an executive session with the board to discuss Amis’s contract. While the details of that discussion are not being released, Schmitt did note afterward that he believes the contract is valid through June 30, 2016.
Amis said after the meeting that he was not surprised by Schmitt’s conclusion, and noted in a later email that the contract was always lawfully voted on in an open meeting of the board.
“At no time was I the least bit concerned about the legality of the superintendent’s contract because any contract, extension, etc. is always voted on in an open meeting and it has been written by some of the best school law attorney’s in the state,” he noted.