The Anne Arundel County school board unanimously approved a $5,000 bonus last night for Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell.
Several board members prefaced the vote by noting the recent economic downturn and the fiscal challenges facing the state and county, but added that Maxwell deserved to be well-compensated.
"The superintendent deserves, in my opinion, much more than $5,000, but this is a tough economic time," said board member Eugene Peterson.
Referring to the possibility of layoffs or furloughs for school employees, he added, "We are going to fight for every single employee in the school system."
Maxwell will receive the one-time bonus in addition to his annual salary of $238,703, the fifth-highest among the state's superintendents. He received a 3 percent raise in July, though his contract permitted a 10 percent increase.
A former administrator in Montgomery and Prince George's counties who took the helm of Anne Arundel schools in July 2006, Maxwell has been credited with implementing major reforms at Annapolis High School and promoting magnet schools. He has also sparred with the Anne Arundel County executive over what he considers insufficient county support of the school system.