FLORISSANT, Mo. (KSDK) – Embattled Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy resigned from his position Wednesday afternoon, the district confirmed in a news release.
"It is mutually agreed and understood that full resolution of these matters is in the best interests of the Ferguson-Florissant School District," a joint statement by the Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education and McCoy read. "To those who have framed the issues as racially motivated, the parties are satisfied that each acted in good faith and with the best interests of the Ferguson-Florissant School District in mind."
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The resignation is effective immediately. McCoy's fate was expected to be discussed at a closed-door hearing on Wednesday and Thursday.
He is rumored to be in the running to become the next president of Harris-Stowe State University. However, a member of the search committee said no decision will be made until May.
McCoy has been on paid administrative leave since Nov. 6. The school board said it has launched an investigation looking into several areas of concern, but has made little information about their concerns publicly available.
An initial letter to parents cited "a difference in focus and philosophy" as the impetus for the suspension. In November, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education found changes to the Ferguson-Florissant district's attendance – charges that McCoy denies.
McCoy's suspension prompted more than 1,200 people to join a Facebook group urging the Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education to bring him back -- with some claiming that it was racially motivated. The NAACP became involved in the investigation, ultimately threatening to file a Title Six complaint against the district because McCoy -- an African-American -- was put on leave by a nearly all-white board.
McCoy had served as the district's superintendent for almost 2.5 years. He had previously served as assistant superintendent.
He released the following statement about his resignation:
"There is a time and a season for all things. Now is the time for resolution. Today marks the conclusion of my time as the Superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District. I resigned pursuit to a separation agreement to settle all claims with the current Board. I have enjoyed serving, loving, and leading the staff, community, families, and most importantly, the students of FFSD. This part of my journey has been rewarding and I thank all of those who have supported me over the past 6 years. It is because of you that we were able to achieve growth and progress.
However, it is now time for me to move forward in a different capacity to continue on with my mission to educate Missouri's youth. The district and I have agreed to part ways so that we can both devote 100% of our time to those who most deserve it, the children.
I have no regrets about any of my actions on behalf of the children and families of FFSD. While I may no longer be the superintendent of this district I will continue to be engaged in my life's work of ensuring that all of Missouri's youth receive an education second to none. As such, I will always be here for the families and children of our district. The students deserve our support and advocacy for the best education possible.
I intend to be a part of the change needed in Missouri to prepare our children, ALL of them, wherever they live, for a bright and prosperous future. I ask for the continued support of the region as we move forward and I look forward to strengthening Missouri's educational landscape with you by my side. God Bless."
Art McCoy, Ph.D.
Educating as if our life, legacy, and liberty depend on it; because it does.