No decision on Amato's future, board member says

Despite reports that Kansas City School Superintendent Anthony Amato is about to be forced out, no decision about his future has been made, a school board member said Thursday night.

“We’re talking about his (Amato’s) performance and his evaluation,” board Vice President Ingrid Burnett said. “But there has not been a decision made.”

A local television report Thursday night cited anonymous sources saying that the board was taking steps to get rid of Amato and find a replacement, but board Vice President Ingrid Burnett Thursday night told The Kansas City Star that the board has made no such decision.

“It sounds like someone’s trying to push a certain agenda,” Burnett said when told of the report. “Someone’s trying to take it out of the hands of the board.”

For his part, Amato said he is trying to keep his focus on the momentous tasks ahead for Kansas City’s schools while the board weighs his future with the district.

“It’s hard,” Amato said Thursday, “We’re trying to move forward to the light.”

Amato acknowledged he was aware “of rumors I don’t want to give credence to” regarding his future. As for the report the board intended to force him out, he said, “No one has told me a thing.”

The board has held a series of retreats at its law firm’s offices during the holiday break. Amato has not been present at those meetings.

Several board members have described them as work sessions to help the board evaluate its and the superintendent’s performance as the provisionally accredited district strives for full accreditation.

Burnett said a follow-up meeting scheduled for Friday has been cancelled.

Amato said, “I’m hoping that the board in its retreats will create a vision for the future of the district, and it will be my obligation to follow that vision.”