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Pender County parents upset over superintendent severance pay

READ MORE: Pender County parents upset over superintendent severance pay
PENDER COUNTY -- Seventy-five thousand dollars. That's how much the Pender County schools Superintendent Ted Kaniuka will receive in severance pay after resigning early this week. Some parents say that's not money well spent. Parents say they were not only shocked that Superintendent Ted Kaniuka resigned but astonished that he'd get tens of thousands of dollars to do it. After three years as Superintendent Ted Kanuika resigned Sunday with two years left on his contract. The school board awarded Kaniuka seventy five thousand dollars in severance pay, money that comes out of taxpayers wallets. "I think as a tax payer we should get a better explanation of what that much money is going to someone that is no longer going to be in that position," Shelly Dial, whose kids go to Penderlea Elementary said. Parents of Pender County students say that money could be better spent inside the school system. "I would rather see it being invested in the children in the classrooms," Julie D'Ambrosia, the parent of Cape Fear Elementary student said. In fact, parents say they're constantly being hit up for cash because the schools say they don't have enough money to go around. "I'm having to spend my hard earned money to spread it around and help less fortunate kids when the school system can do that job with the money," Parent Jimmie Stokes said. It may be the children that ultimately pay the price for this hefty severance package. According to the North Carolina public school's website the starting salary for a new teacher with a Bachelor's Degree is a little more than twenty nine thousand dollars. A certified teacher with a Master's gets paid about thirty two thousand dollars. If you do the math, Kaniuka's severance could pay the salaries of two new teachers even with advanced degrees. "We could spend it on more money to the school and more teachers assistants or more nurses in school so we don't have to share. Some schools in our county share nurses. we don't have them full time," Parent Shelly Dial said. Parents want answers. NewsChannel 3 tried to get them, but couldn't get a single member of the Pender County School Board to talk to us. Our calls went unanswered or were not returned. One member we did reach, Katherine Herring, hung up on us when we asked about Kaniuka's severance pay.

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