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Schools and Education Palmetto Principal Files Racial Discrimnation Complaint

Palmetto Elementary Principal Ed Hundley

PALMETTO – Ed Hundley, principal of Palmetto Elementary, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that Manatee County Schools violated his civil rights in an act of racial discrimination. At issue is a policy regarding whether or not salaried administrative employees can be paid extra from grant funding for activities performed on nights and weekends. The district says that only teachers can earn such extra pay, while Hundley, who says he had money taken from a June paycheck and was investigated for "stealing" Title 1 funding, claims that other principals had done the same and faced no such consequences.

A school board investigation showed that Hundley paid himself around $30,000 in Title 1 pay since 2009, when the district began prohibiting such payments. That was more than twice any other principal whose school qualified for the grants, which are directed at schools where at least 40 percent of students are from low-income families by Census definition. In his complaint, Hundley says that only black principals at those schools receiving the funding have been held to such policy.

In their investigation, the school district concluded that their administrative pay policy may not have been clear enough and did not take action against Hundley or other principals that continued to be paid from the funding in 2011-12. In May of 2012, Hundley was told to stop logging time through the funding but did not, arguing that he had a right to such compensation. The school district says that administrators are salaried employees and not eligible to pay themselves from title-1 funding. Hundley, whose 2011 salary was just over $90,000, argues that because it was not cited in audits related to the Title-1 grants, there is no conflict with him receiving such compensation.


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