Battle Between Lowell School Committee and Khelfaoui Headed for a Showdown Next Week
LOWELL -- Months after the Lowell School Committee started the process of terminating Superintendent Salah Khelfaoui, the embattled head of schools has scheduled a hearing before the committee on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m., according to City Solicitor Christine O’Connor.
A meeting agenda posted on the district’s website indicates the hearing will be held in executive session, meaning it will not be open to the public.
Whether the meeting is open to the public is the choice of the superintendent, according to Khelfaoui’s contract.
On July 18, the Lowell School Committee voted 4-3 to start the process of terminating Khelfaoui’s contract and place him on paid administrative leave.
Just over a month later, on Aug. 24 the School Committee sent Khelfaoui a letter drafted during executive session outlining the reasons for his termination. Neither party has made the contents of this multi-page letter public.
However, the Lowell School Committee and administrators have spent many of its meetings in the intervening weeks discussing the district’s dire financial situation, which includes an over $2 million estimated shortfall in this year’s budget, among other issues.
As determined by his contract, Khelfaoui can request a hearing to respond to the School Committee’s charges within 30 calendar days of receiving the letter. Following the request, the hearing must be held within another 30 calendar days. Afterward, the School Committee will issue a written decision on Khelfaoui’s employment.
Khelfaoui’s attorney Michael Long did not respond to an email sent Thursday evening seeking confirmation on the date or comment.
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