FORT MYERS, Fla. - Is he staying or going? That's the question parents and school officials in Lee County want to know when it comes to school Superintendent Joseph Burke. Last night, Burke gave some indication that he may be re-thinking his June retirement, now the school district is responding to the possible change of heart. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is in the studio with what district officials are saying today.
Less than 2 weeks ago, Doctor Burke seemed clear about his decision to retire. He sent out a memo to board members saying he chose to retire a year early because of health reasons. But at last night's school board meeting I spoke with the President of the local NAACP chapter. He told me Burke met with them on Monday to announce he wants to stay in lee county and only chose to retire because he felt pressured by the media.
Recently Burke has come under fire for suspending an investigation into one of his top directors.....and the state will likely investigate whether he broke the law by doing this. Today we asked the school district if Burke is staying or if he's still retiring. Dr. Burke's new communications director sent out a statement saying that as of today Burke still plans to retire, however, there are some critical medical tests that will occur this month and *that* will determine exactly what he plans to do. The statement reads in part: "once those results are in, he will be able to more confidently say whether or not he will have to end his term before June 30th or be able to work beyond the June 30th date, potentially fulfilling more or all his original contract."
Burke's contract was originally set to expire in June of 2014. The communications director goes on to say: Dr. Burke will speak to the media about this later in April or early may once he is able to weigh all of the medical results and determine the best course of action for his family. We'll of course let you know what he decides to do.