Albemarle School Board Extends Superintendent Haas’ Contract Despite Parental, Political And Petitional Outcry


Albemarle County Public School Board Members: Dr. Matthew Haas, Rebecca Berlin, Ph.D., Ellen Osborne, Graham Paige, Jonno Alcaro, Judy Le, Kate Acuff, Ph.D., Katrina Callsen

Despite parental, political and petitional outcry, the Albemarle County School Board voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas’ contract at a sparsely attended Thursday night meeting.

Haas’ contract was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2025.

Realtor Paul McArtor launched a petition on August 20, 2023 requesting the school board to not renew Haas’ contract. When the petition closed, 1,644 people had signed the digital document.

Among many causes of concern, Haas has faced tremendous crossfire from the community for:

1. Persistent school bus transportation shortages
2. School rebranding mismanagement
3. The academic achievement gaps of students of color and economically disadvantaged students
4. Safety and quality of life for students, teachers, staff and administrators alike during school hours and within school buildings
5. Escalating teacher and staff attrition

Educational pundits are now pontificating about the timing of the unanimous 6-0 vote – Scottsville District School Board Member Ellen Osborne was absent last night. Four of seven seats on the school board are up for election on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, including the vigorously contested at-large battle featuring Dr. Meg Bryce and Allison Spillman and the White Hall District race pitting Rebecca Berlin against Joann McDermid.

Did current school board members expedite a contract extension for the embattled Dr. Haas because the ideological makeup of the board could change in less than three months?

Did current school board members extend Haas’ contract last night because they feared potentially newly-elected members would do the exact opposite?

Did current school board members truly listen to teachers, parents and the community before choosing to extend Haas’ contract?

These are all very fair questions.

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