Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph has a pretty sweet arrangement with his employer, according to his four-year contract, which began in 2016.
He makes $285,000 a year. That salary, all courtesy of taxpayers, will never decrease — but it could increase.
Joseph’s contract clearly states he must devote all his full working time to the school district and can have no other gainful employment — except for later in the contract when it says otherwise.
Joseph, as the contract goes on, owns an LLC named Joseph and Associates.
“The board agrees that the director is entitled to engage in outside professional activities, including writing, consulting, and lecturing, with or without honorarium, as long as such activities do not interfere with the performance of his duties as the director,” according to the contract.
The school district did not return a request for comment Wednesday.
Among the other luxuries in Joseph’s contract:
• The school system pays for the medical, vision, and dental benefits for Joseph and his family — using the program of their choice.
• Joseph gets a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, an answering machine, a printer, and a computer installed at his house. Taxpayers are billed directly for all the expenses.
• He gets 25 paid vacation days every year, exclusive of legal holidays. Even better for Joseph, unused days may get carried over to the next year.
• He gets a full-sized automobile, and he doesn’t have to pay for gas, maintenance, or insurance.
• Joseph can take additional leave for “professional growth and development activities.”
• Taxpayers reimburse Joseph for any expenses moving to Nashville.
• Joseph had an entire year after the start of the contract in 2016 to relocate himself and his family.
You can read the employment contract between Joseph and MNPS, signed by both parties in May 2016, here:S. Joseph Employment Contract - 5-23-18
Joseph’s job performance since he was hired as MNPS Director in 2016 has been less than spectacular.
“The Metro Nashville Public Schools admitted the school system has a $7.5 million budgeting shortfall in a blockbuster announcement released on Friday,” The Tennessee Star reported in March.
“MNPS School Director Dr. Shawn Joseph offered no explanation for the administrative budgeting fiasco that failed to anticipate the enrollment decline in a letter sent to teachers on Friday,” The Star noted, adding:
Instead, he simply acknowledged that a budget shortfall existed for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
“Budgeting for the many needs in our district is always a challenge, but less funding this year due to declining enrollment is always a challenge, but less funding this year due to declining enrollment and competition with other city priorities will make planning our budgeting especially difficult,” Joseph wrote.
Joseph also offered no explanation for the decline in MNPS enrollment while the population of the city is increasing.
“Our unexpected enrollment decrease this year means we will receive $7.5 million less in state funds than we budgeted for the school year,” he said.
Notably, The Star reported that “Joseph listed a number of budget reductions MNPS will be taking. Not on that list was a reduction in the high expenditures associated with his office and his staff.”
Joseph made headlines earlier this month when he played a controversial rap song for several board members to express his feelings about the job, and at least one board member took exception to that conduct, as News Channel 5 reported.
It is not known how much professional time Joseph has devoted to the conduct of his outside consulting business, to the detriment of his responsibilities to MNPS and the taxpayers and students of Davidson County.