KUOW just had an announcement that Raj is stepping down.
Here's a link to the P-I article: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/289654_manhas23ww.html
and the article:
Manhas to resign
Seattle schools chief won't seek contract extension.
Monday, October 23, 2006
By JESSICA BLANCHARD, P-I REPORTER
Seattle Schools Superintendent Raj Manhas, at the helm of a district with a looming financial crisis and deeply divided over closing schools, is leaving his post.
Manhas said this afternoon that he will fulfill the last year of his contract, but not seek an extension when his present agreement expires next year.
"After careful consideration, I have decided that this year will be my final year as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools," he said. "This is a personal decision I have made in the interests of my family."
He said by announcing his decision now, he will give the district a chance to launch a full search for a successor.
Manhas' three years in the job have becoming increasingly tumultuous, spurred largely by his plans to close elementary schools. The closures themselves result from the second heavy burden of his job: financial difficulties that could leave the district awash in red ink unless it cuts costs and brings in more money.
In 2005, Manhas proposed closing schools but gave up in the face of community uproar. This year, he tried again, using a lengthy public process to give parents a say. This summer, the School Board agreed to close seven school buildings. But a second Manhas plan to close three additional buildings never got off the ground. The board tabled that proposal last week after an extended, heated -- and at times ugly -- public hearing at which parents and community leaders dumped on the superintendent's proposal and criticized him by name.
Manhas was the district's chief operating officer in June 2003 when the board made him interim superintendent after Joseph Olchefske resigned. A national search for a permanent superintendent collapsed, and Manhas got the job for good in October 2003.
Manhas, who as a master's degree in engineering, became the third consecutive Seattle superintendent whose background was not in education. He came to the district from Seattle Public Utilities where he was director of field operations. He had also been in banking.
Manhas is paid about $177,000 a year.