Nettie Collins-hart

Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart will remain at Proviso Township High School District 209 for at least one more year. The district’s Financial Oversight Panel extended her contract at a meeting Feb. 28. On March 1 she failed to make the jump to the St. Cloud, Minn., School District 742, where she was one of three finalists for the superintendent job.

Collins-Hart was in St. Cloud on March 1, answering questions for community and board members. The St. Cloud school district has 9,748 students in nine communities, with a minority population of 23 percent, according to the district’s website. But the board unanimously chose the former St. Paul School District Asst. Superintendent Willie Jett.

The one-year contract extension appears to be a compromise crafted by the district’s financial oversight panel, which has new powers under the Illinois State Board of Education’s “1H” designation. The new status gives finance panels in the state the power to hire and fire both district superintendents and finance directors. The new designation also gives the financial oversight panel the ability to negotiate labor contracts.

The D209 school board had voted in January to give Collins-Hart a two-year extension and give her a $20,000 bonus as stipulated in her contract. Collins-Hart has been superintendent for five years, the longest-tenured superintendent in the district in a decade. The financial oversight panel tabled the decision for a month, before extending the contract by one year.

Collins-Hart earns an annual salary of $218,791.13. She also receives a $9,000 annuity and almost $49,000 in other benefits, according to the compensation report on the district’s website.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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