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Adams signs new 3-year contract as city schools superintendent

Rick Sullivan (left), president of the city schools' Special Administrative Board, and Superintendent Kelvin Adams attend the campaign kickoff for Proposition 1
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis School Superintendent Kelvin Adams has signed a contract to stay on the job for another three years.

The new contract calls for his base salary to remain at $225,000 a year – the same salary he has had since he became head of the school district in 2008. But his automobile allowance rises to $800 a month from the $300 a month payment included in the old contract that expired last week. The $800 figure had been part of earlier contracts that Adams signed with the district.

Since Adams became superintendent, the city schools’ performance has improved steadily.

At one point, the school system was unaccredited, but it regained provisional accreditation before the point where students could have transferred to nearby accredited districts under the state law that was upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2013.

It has been pushing for full accreditation based on its most recent state evaluation, which showed that many schools in the system already have enough points for that distinction.

Earlier this year, he was mentioned as a top candidate for the superintendent’s job in Los Angeles. But he told St. Louis on the Air in March that he never intended to move to LA. The superintendent's post there was filled by a deputy superintendent, Michelle King.

The hiring of Adams was one of the first actions taken by the Special Administration Board that was appointed to run the city schools in 2007. Since that time, the system has improved in the three areas cited when the appointed board was put in place -- student achievement, finance and governance.

Talks for a possible transition that would put an elected board back into power were set to begin Tuesday evening, with representatives from the state school board, the elected board and the SAB in attendance.

Follow Dale on Twitter: @dalesinger

Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016.

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