An entity controlled by local businessman Scott Moscrip transferred $400,000 to the New Plymouth School District Thursday, one day after Superintendent Kevin Barker announced he was stepping down and taking a buyout, according to district financial records.
The new financial records, released Wednesday in response to an Idaho Education News public records request, offer the most clarity yet into Barker’s sudden resignation and an unusual buyout that had been shrouded in secrecy.
After months of turmoil and a public clash with former New Plymouth High School principal Clete Edmunson, Barker announced April 25 that he was resigning and taking a buyout.
Idaho Education News previously obtained other documents, including a five-page contract, that show Barker would receive $400,000 from a private donor — a lump sum payment designed to encourage Barker to resign.
District officials attempted to keep the identity of the donor secret, but Idaho EdNews made multiple requests for documents and financial records under the Idaho Public Records Act.
The newest documents include a Zions Bank statement dated Monday. According to this statement, an entity listing Moscrip as its trustee made a $400,000 transfer to the school district on Thursday.
The bank statements indicate district officials deposited the $400,000 into an account titled “public funds interest checking.”
Moscrip is a prominent New Plymouth businessman who has donated large sums of money to the district to help students earn dual credit courses and get a jump start on college.
According to a biography published by Brigham Young University’s Marriott School, Moscrip founded Internet Truckstop in his basement in 1995. He has since gone on to start more than 15 businesses in the transportation, finance, retail and restaurant sectors.
According to BYU, “Internet Truckstop Group has become one of the largest providers of information and services within transportation in the world.” The company has more than 250 employees and maintains offices in Idaho, Arizona, Illinois and Canada.
Through Internet Truckstop, Moscrip helped New Plymouth high school students pay for dual credit courses that allowed them to earn college credits, the Independent Enterprise newspaper reported. Under the program, high school students were often able to complete their first year of college at a cost of about $300 — because Moscrip’s business covered $170 out of the $195 per-credit cost.
New Plymouth’s turmoil came to light in January when Barker told Idaho EdNews that Edmunson resigned suddenly and voluntarily. A day later, Edmunson told Idaho EdNews he was pressured into resigning and rescinded his resignation. Amid investigation, Edmonton eventually resigned for good and was later hired to serve as superintendent of the Council School District.
The New Plymouth Education Association called on Barker to resign, and he initially resisted those calls until announcing his resignation last week.
Barker’s resignation date is June 30. In addition to the $400,000 buyout, Barker will receive paychecks through June 30, at his prorated annual salary of $89,849. He will also collect a $1,500 monthly consulting fee from the district between July 1 and June 30, 2020. He will also keep his laptop and receive retirement contributions, life insurance benefits and family health insurance while collecting the consulting fees, unless he finds another job with equal or better benefits.
Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed research to this report.