MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis-Shelby County School parents are waiting to find out who will lead their children after the school district decided to part ways with superintendent Joris Ray.
During a special school board meeting Tuesday night, the board agreed to sever its relationship with Dr. Ray and discontinue any ongoing investigation regarding policy violations.
The split comes after the district opened an investigation into whether or not Ray violated policy after divorce documents show he admitted to having extra-marital affairs with district employees.
In a statement, Ray says he “regrets that unsubstantiated allegations emanating from a deeply private matter were made public through the media.”
One MSCS parent says she has always and will continue to support the now former superintendent.
“His personal life has nothing to do with his job. He was handling his business,” parent Sirella Taylor said. “I don’t care what he does behind closed doors. All I care about is my children’s education.”
Under the terms of his agreement, Ray is walking away with a severance package worth $480,000 which covers the 18 months left on his contract as well as unused vacation and sick days earned during his time as superintendent.
“Why is he still being given that amount of money? That’s almost half a million dollars.” parent Shantell Lawrence said. “That money is going to actually come out of taxpayers and the workers.”
With Ray out the way, the district will soon start looking for a new leader. Parents we spoke to say all they ask for is someone who will make their child’s education a top priority.
“Everybody comes in with a checklist of things they want to get done, but I think it’s time we see it get done without incident,” Brandon Stron said.
The Memphis-Shelby County School board says it will not make any decisions on a new superintendent until all of the newly elected board members are seated in September.
It will be up to the board to decide how they want the school district to move forward.
Deputy Superintendents Dr. John Barker and Dr. Angela Whitelaw will continue to serve the district until a new superintendent is selected.