"It was a hard decision," said Sanabria of the 4-1 vote. "Merrill did a lot of very good things for our district and marshaled us through some tough times ... but I think we reached what we could under his leadership and it was time to move on."
The district will pay Grant's salary, an estimated $300,000, through June of 2014.
Last Friday the board placed Grant on administrative leave and disciplined three other district employees.
The action was announced at the end of a special closed-session meeting that lasted nearly four hours. The names of the three employees disciplined were not immediately released, nor were details of the discipline.
“The board has decided to take disciplinary action against all three employees and place the superintendent on administrative leave effective immediately,” said Sanabria.
The move comes in the wake of a $950,000 settlement with the family of a 5-year-old autistic child who was pulled to the floor and kicked by Loma Vista Elementary School teacher Dina Holder in 2010. District parents were outraged to learn that, following the incident, the 52-year-old Holder was transferred to another school within the district and placed back in a special-education classroom.
Loma Vista principal Laurie James and BUSD Assistant Superintendent Margaret Kruse have also drawn fire for failing to properly notify authorities of the incident that resulted in Holder pleading no contest to misdemeanor child abuse in 2011.
As a condition of the settlement, Holder was removed from the classroom and was to retire at the end of this school year. Last Thursday, her teaching credentials were revoked by the California Commission of Teacher Credentialing. Holder was still employed by the district as of this week.