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Decatur Superintendent’s contract no longer includes housing stipend

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Decatur Superintendent’s contract no longer includes housing stipend

Superintendent David Dude

David Dude. Photo provided by City Schools of Decatur

The Decatur School Board recently renewed Superintendent David Dude’s contract through 2021. The new contract includes raises and performance bonuses.

It does not include a housing stipend, however. His original contract allowed him to spend $1,500 per month on housing in Decatur. There was also a brouhaha in 2016 about the School Board potentially giving Dude an additional housing supplement or allowing him to lease one of two homes owned by City Schools of Decatur.

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School Board Chair Annie Caiola, who caught some of the flack for suggesting giving a larger subsidy to Dude, and the superintendent said both sides mutually agreed that the $1,500 a month for housing was no longer necessary.

“The current contract includes the same $1,500 per month allowance for expenses arising out of his professional responsibilities, like the last contract,” Caiola said. “The last contract included a statement that the superintendent could use the monthly stipend for housing in Decatur if he so chose. Dr. Dude has since moved out of Decatur, so the sentence was no longer applicable. In addition, the superintendent’s cost-of-living is already incorporated into his overall compensation.”

Dude said he could not afford to buy a home in Decatur during his first few years on the job. He has a wife and three children.

Housing prices in Decatur are astronomical largely due to the quality of the schools. According to Zillow, the current median home value is $489,500.

“The problem is how you buy a house in Decatur, is you have to have a 20 percent down payment on the house,” Dude said. “When you’re in your first couple of years, you don’t have that down payment.”

Dude’s salary will increase to $199,000 per year for the 2018-2019 school year. His current salary is $189,000. The salary will increase to $209,000 for the 2019-2020 school year, and $219,000 for the 2020-2021 school year. He will also be eligible for $20,000 in performance bonuses every year.

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