Superintendent with Central Bucks School District resigns with 6-figure severance package

Abram Lucabaugh is expected to receive a payout of more than $700,000.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Resigning Bucks County superintendent to get $700,000 severance package
The Central Bucks School Board approved the sudden resignation of its superintendent during Tuesday night's meeting.

DOYLESTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Tensions ran high at a Central Bucks School District meeting Tuesday night when board members approved a six-figure severance package for its resigned superintendent.

After back and forth between the audience and board members, Abram Lucabaugh is expected to receive a payout of over $700,000.

The school board voted 6-3 on the terms of Lucabaugh's resignation. Lucabaugh was not present at the meeting.

Many who attended the event were outraged over the decision.

"I'm just absolutely stunned by the whole thing. The inactions of both political parties," said Joe Dacri, from Warrington.

"They were not doing the right thing for kids. They wasted thousands and thousands and thousands of our dollars," said Laurie Ann Moore, of Buckingham.

This all comes less than a week after Democrats swept the school board race. However, they don't take control until December, which means the Republican-controlled board voted on his leave.

SEE ALSO: Democrats flip school board majority in 3 Pennsylvania districts

Lucabaugh received a new contract and a 40% salary increase in July, making him the second highest-paid superintendent in the commonwealth.

His severance package includes a year's salary and more than $200,000 in unused sick time.

"This is the best thing -- not only for our district financially but it's the best thing we can do for him and he has done right by us," said Board President Dana Hunter.

"If you really care about the kids you will rethink depriving the students of that huge amount of money," said one attendee.

Many parents who spoke out at Tuesday night's meeting expressed their anger at the high number.

"What's driving this resignation and this deal? Are you so scared of the incoming board majority? Are you afraid of what they will find? Is this a bid to buy your silence?" one woman questioned as the public was given their time to speak.

"You're the problem in this community. You are the problem in this community. Shame on you," another woman said on the microphone.

Many people were met with standing ovations after speaking out over the deal.

"This money could hire more teachers, hire more support staff," another attendee said.

Education policy expert Michael Kozak, from Drexel University, says while the number may seem high, it's all a matter of what's in the employment contract.

What is unusual, he says, is the timing.

"You have a board with new board members coming on and the general rule of thumb with boards of education is to not take action a month or two before a new board comes on," said Kozak.

Action News reached out to the superintendent and the current Republican members of the school board but didn't hear back.

Officials say Assistant Superintendent Charles Malone will serve as interim superintendent.

The board also voted on another topic during Tuesday's meeting.

It voted 6-3 to have transgender athletes in the school district play for teams based on the sex the student was assigned at birth.

Some speakers called the policy discriminatory, others said this was necessary.

"The rights of women and girls to play sports -- it gives them the opportunity for scholarships and other accolades and it keeps them safe," said one speaker.

"When we tell transgender girls that they can't play girls' sports or transgender boys that they can't play boys' sports, they miss out on this important childhood experience and all the lessons it teaches," said another speaker.

The district has faced backlash this year after the board barred school staff from using students' chosen names and pronouns without parental permission. The board also enforced policies that prohibited classroom discussions that opponents say targeted LGBTQ+ students.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.