CMS Superintendent Wilcox To Resign Aug. 2

Jul 19, 2019

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox is resigning effective Aug. 2. The decision comes after the school board met in closed session Friday morning, during which they voted unanimously to accept his resignation. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board met in closed session Friday morning to talk about the suspension of Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.
Credit JENNIFER WORSHAM / WFAE FILE PHOTO

Wilcox, who was suspended with pay on Monday, will remain on paid suspension until his last day. The board made clear that Wilcox would not be paid the remainder of his contract and would only be entitled to the same benefits due to any school employee who leaves the system. 

Board chair Mary McCray delivered a statement before going into closed session, however. She acknowledged the public wants answers for why the board suspended Wilcox on Monday, but that “every CMS employee should have confidence that this board will protect every employee’s legal right to privacy. We are going to do this even if it means bad PR for the nine of us."

She added: “It is not the role of this board to decide which laws we are going to follow and which ones were are going to ignore for political expediency. We owe it to our community to follow each and every law, and we are going to do just that.”

CMS cites state law that says personnel files of board of education employees are not “subject to inspection or examination.”

Wilcox, who has been at the helm of the district since mid-2017, was suspended with pay Monday after a meeting with board members. So far, neither school board members or Wilcox have provided any details about the reasons behind the suspension.

Wilcox had come under fire in recent months for violating district policy for his decision last summer to no longer fingerprint new hires. He was also scrutinized for bringing in top staff from Maryland— where he last worked — at high salaries, including his chief of staff’s husband in a newly-created, unadvertised position.

His contract had just been extended – and his salary boosted to $307,000 – in January.

In the meantime, the district's ombudsman, Earnest Winston, has been named acting superintendent. The new school year will start in just over a month.

This is a developing story.