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Campaign Underway To Oust New Plymouth School District Leader

Larry Darling

The saga surrounding the leadership of the New Plymouth School District continues to unfold.

At the start of the year, the New Plymouth Education Association sent a letter to the school board complaining about district Superintendent Kevin Barker. They allege abuses of power and poor communication among other grievances. District employees eventually held a vote of no confidence in Barker and 85 percent of participants thought he should leave his job.

Notes from a February meeting now reveal an attempt to buy Barker out of his contract. The Idaho Press Tribune reports an anonymous community member offered $300,000 to encourage Barker to depart. The school district would’ve also kicked in $100,000.

The $400,000 dollar price tag comes from a New Plymouth school board member who said that would be the cost to get Barker out of his contract.

As for Barker, he says he has no plans to take any money or resign.

An online petition calling for Barker to resign had over 270 signatures as of this week.

If the school board doesn’t take action to remove Barker at their March 12 meeting, petitioners say they’ll launch attempts to recall board members.

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