Lowell Schools Chief Denies He’s Resigning
LOWELL -- Superintendent of Schools Salah Khelfaoui denied Wednesday morning that he’s resigning amid rumors that he’s considering stepping down.
During a brief conversation with the Lowell Public Schools’ leader, Khelfaoui told The Sun that the rumor is “absolutely false,” adding three times that the rumor is untrue “as of now.”
“If I intend to do that, the School Committee would be the first ones to know,” he said at the Central Administration office on Merrimack Street.
“I’m not sure where this came from,” the superintendent added. “This really came out of left field.”
Khelfaoui, who lives in Chelmsford, was the superintendent of schools in Winchendon when he was hired by the Lowell School Committee in 2015. He received four votes, while in-district candidate Jay Lang received three votes. Lang is now the Chelmsford superintendent.
In May 2017, Khelfaoui received a four-year contract from the Lowell School Committee.
Under the deal, Khelfaoui’s base pay increased to $189,625, retroactive to July 1, 2016, and increases by 2.5 percent in each of the next three years. By the time the contract expires on June 30, 2020, Khelfaoui’s salary would be $204,206.
Ending the contract would require four votes on the seven-member committee.
Speculation on Khelfaoui comes one day after it was learned Gary Frisch, the department’s chief financial officer, will interview for a similar position in Gloucester. That interview is scheduled for tonight.
Tensions are also mounting over the Lowell School Department’s extremely tight budget, with cuts to staffing -- particularly to the district’s library aides. Other positions across the system are also going unfilled. In total, the department faces a $2.5 million budget shortfall.
Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun