Collins, Larcombe resign from Burlington School District - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Collins, Larcombe resign from Burlington School District

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After nearly a decade heading the Burlington School District, Jeanne Collins' time is over as superintendent.

It was a rare sight at Tuesday's School Board meeting as the superintendent was surrounded by community members hugging goodbye.

After 14 years with the Burlington School District, nine of them as superintendent, Jeanne Collins will be stepping down June 30. Collins has been under pressure to step down after a resounding budget defeat in March and then the discovery of multimillion dollar budgeting errors.

The board unanimously passed a separation and settlement agreement. Both the board and Collins declined interviews but released statements.

The board chair, Patrick Halladay, said, "There is a shared responsibility for the current financial situation. The board could and should have asserted more oversight, and the superintendent could have managed the situation differently so as to have avoided the current situation."

According to the release, the board started talks about Collins' resignation April 18. She is currently under contract until June 2016 with an annual salary of more than $130,000.

As part of the negotiated settlement, the district will pay her $225,000 as severance over the next two years and provide Collins with a positive letter of recommendation. She forfeits 266 unused sick days.

In a statement, Collins explained there were many factors contributing to the financial struggles.

"From personnel issues in the finance department to alterations in state and federal funding formulas to the need to update our accounting software; however, as the chief executive of the district, I am responsible for properly managing the finances of the District," said Collins.

Less than a day after Collins' resignation, the school district's director of finance announced he, too, will be stepping down. In a letter to the district, David Larcombe said his last day will be June 30 after a year in that position.

"In recent months I have witnessed the school board and city government going in a direction that I believe represents serious risk for the district. After trying unsuccessfully to share my concerns with relevant parties, I have come to the conclusion I am no longer the right person for the job," said Larcombe.

Mayor Miro Wineberger, D-Burlington, weighed in weeks ago calling for Collins to step down. In a statement Wednesday, he said: "I commend the Burlington School Board and Superintendent Collins for reaching an agreement that will allow the School District to move forward."

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