Despite allegations of manipulating graduation rates, Saunders elected superintendent of Manatee County Schools

Saunders elected superintendent of Manatee County Schools

MANATEE COUNTY (WWSB) - The interim title has been removed off of Cynthia Saunders as she is the new superintendent of the Manatee County School District.

Board members voted 3-2 in favor of offering Saunders of offering Saunders a contract for the position that will end in June 2021. The base salary is around $196,000 per year with bonuses that could bring the salary to $220,000 per year.

“She has demonstrated her leadership ability, her willingness to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work and she’s done it relentlessly,” Manatee County Schools board member Dr. Scott Hopes said.

“I have a lot of faith in her ability and her intelligence, but I want her to come into this job on the best possible footing,” Manatee County Schools board member Charlie Kennedy said.

“If she walks into this job as our permanent superintendent I don’t want her being nitpicked by critics from day one.”

Saunders is currently facing serious allegations including manipulation of reporting of the district’s graduation rates. She’s accused of labeling students who withdrew from school as home-schooled even though the students and parents had no intention of home schooling them. People who did not approve of Saunders said the school board did not do a proper search of selecting a new school superintendent.

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