New Bedford Superintendent Thomas Anderson has agreed to lead the city's public schools for the next five years, the Office of Mayor Jon Mitchell announced this week.

Anderson on July 13 signed a contract that grants him a $214,200 base salary in fiscal 2021 and increases 2 percent per year to $231,857 for fiscal 2026. Anderson's current salary is $210,000. The new contract gives Anderson 25 vacation days and 14 paid holidays. He will receive an annual mileage allowance of $2,000 per year and other benefits.

The agreement assigns Anderson the job of "chief executive officer" of the city's schools, puts him in charge of all employees, and requires that he attend School Committee meetings unless excused. Under the terms, the superintendent undergoes an annual performance evaluation. If the School Committee wishes to terminate the contract early, it must give Anderson 120 days notice and a $90,000 severance payment. If Anderson wishes to terminate the contract, he must give six months notice, and will receive no severance.

Mitchell this week issued words of praise fo Anderson, saying he has "set a constructive tone and clear direction in the district" and has put New Bedford Public Schools on the right track.

"In his tenure as superintendent, (Anderson) has established a clear and compelling district improvement plan that provides a roadmap for the work of our schools over the next several years, and he has led the district through novel challenges including the threat of a massive charter school expansion and the COVID-19 pandemic," Mitchell said in a statement. "The superintendent’s hard work, strategic approach to leadership, managerial skills, communication and relationships with the community, and his commitment to the needs of New Bedford’s students have served the district well and will continue to do so. I am proud to support the five-year contract extension of Superintendent Anderson.”

The School Committee recently approved Anderson's contract in a 6-1 vote, with John Oliveira the only dissenting member. The School Committee last month unveiled its annual review of Anderson, where they gave him mostly proficient marks.

Anderson was chosen to lead the district in 2018 with a three-year contract.

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