The Chicago Board of Education has approved three changes to Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez’s employment contract, including a 3% raise and the ability for future annual raises to be given without a board vote.
CPS said in a statement the change made to Martinez’s contract Wednesday now gives the board president, Miguel del Valle, the authority to increase Martinez’s salary by up to 3% each year after consulting with individual board members as long as the board has given Martinez a “successful annual evaluation” and he “submits timely performance goals.”
Last year — about a month after he started the job — the board approved Martinez’s five-year contract with a starting salary of $340,000, eclipsing his predecessor, Janice Jackson. The raise brings his pay up to $350,200. The contract also already gave the board allowance to increase his salary by 3% annually after conducting a performance review. He is also required by the contract to propose goals by June 1 each year, starting in 2022.
CPS officials have not released the full contract but said another amendment to Martinez’s contract appears to expand the definition of what could prompt the CEO’s termination. The new language says that includes any conduct “inconsistent with the CEO’s duties and obligations to CPS or the Board, or that may be reasonably perceived to have a material adverse impact on the good name and integrity of CPS or the Board in the sole judgment of the Board.”
The third contract change, according to district officials, specifies that a not-for-cause termination of the CEO requires a 180-day notice, during which the CEO must continue to work to help the transfer of duties.
Martinez took the helm of the district in late September 2021, a few weeks into the new school year and as CPS was still dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and a series of conflicts with the Chicago Teachers Union over pandemic safety protocols. He struggled to scale up COVID-19 testing or to implement a test-to-stay program and dealt with legal and parental pressure to end the mask mandate.
Also Wednesday, Board Vice President Sendhil Revuluri announced he is leaving the board and Wednesday was his last board meeting. He was appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and began serving in June 2019.