The top-ranking staffer of the Toronto District School Board will release her employment contract to the board's newly appointed chair by Monday.
Chair Shaun Chen told trustees late on Thursday that education director Donna Quan will provide him with a copy of her contract, as well as those of two of her predecessors, by Dec. 8.
He also reinstated a board meeting originally set for Dec. 17 in response to a backlash from several trustees. "I am happy to call the meeting and believe it may be a good time to deal with outstanding issues in December as opposed to early January," Mr. Chen said in an e-mail to trustees, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail.
Mr. Chen did not return phone messages from The Globe on Thursday to explain why he told trustees on Wednesday he was cancelling the December meeting. Ryan Bird, a spokesman for the TDSB, said it was cancelled because of Hanukkah.
Jerry Chadwick said he was one of several trustees who urged Mr. Chen not to cancel the meeting. Although Dec. 17 is the first day of Hanukkah, it is not usually treated as a holiday, Mr. Chadwick said. "We shouldn't be changing the meeting unless there's extreme circumstances," he said.
The meeting will provide trustees with their first opportunity to the contract for Ms. Quan, who is the board's sole employee.
Mr. Chen said on Wednesday that he will provide trustees with an update on Ms. Quan's performance review at the next board meeting and provide copies of her contract for review.
Had the December meeting not gone ahead, trustees would not have seen Ms. Quan's contract until after Margaret Wilson, an investigator appointed by the provincial governmentto look into problems at the school board, completes a review at the end of the year.
The first regular meeting allows new trustees to get their bearings and see how a school board meeting is run. Half the trustees on the board are new. The Peel District School Board has its first regular meeting on Tuesday. The agenda is far from packed, with a couple of delegations for French immersion boundaries and responses to petitions from the last board.
Questions have been swirling for months around Ms. Quan's contract and how much she is paid.
The contract has been missing from the chair's office, school board sources say, and former chair Mari Rutka was stonewalled in her attempts to get a copy. All she received in her final days as chair was a draft of Ms. Quan's contract that showed her salary as $315,000 a year, according to a private e-mail Ms. Rutka sent to trustees. That amount contravenes an edict from Ontario's Education Minister.
The TDSB has said Ms. Quan is paid $289,000 a year – which is $17,000 more than her predecessor, Chris Spence. Her compensation was negotiated by former chair Chris Bolton on behalf of the board. Even that amount contravenes the province's wage-freeze legislation for public sector workers, according to a letter from Education Minister Liz Sandals to Mr. Bolton.
School board sources point out that Ms. Quan's willingness to release her contract might be related to the appointment of Ms. Wilson.
Ms. Sandals intervened at the board last month after tensions came to a head over Ms. Quan's refusal to release her employment contract to trustees, who are her employers, preventing them from reviewing her performance.
Ms. Quan is scheduled to meet with Ms. Wilson on Friday.