Purnell Demoted

Charlottesville assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Laura Purnell — who blew the whistle on superintendent Scottie Griffin in February — has found herself demoted to “coordinator,” whatever that is. The school board says that they’re “top-heavy in the administration,” which many parents have criticized them for recently, and saw that as a a position that should be eliminated. Purnell has been offered the new, lower position, presumably entailing a pay cut. James Fenald had the story in yesterday’s Daily Progress.

The question, of course, is whether this has anything to do with her central role in taking public the internal criticism of Griffin. It was a month ago now that Griffin tried to fire Purnell, and just a week ago that Griffin resigned. Is Purnell being punished? Or is the school board just responding to an often-heard and reasonable criticism that the school system spends too much money on central office staff and not enough on teachers?

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