CHELTENHAM The former superintendent hired to "monitor" embattled Cheltenham School District Superintendent Natalie Thomas will be paid $900 per day, the school district said Thursday.

It was unclear how long William Kiefer, who retired in 2010 after four years as Cheltenham superintendent, would serve or how many days he would work.

Thomas, whose annual salary is $180,000, has come under fire for feuding with teachers and administrators, many of whom have left the district since her arrival about 18 months ago.

Cheltenham has the highest school property taxes in Montgomery County, about $5,000 for every $200,000 of market value, based on state figures.

Kiefer, who started working Wednesday, was hired to assess Thomas's performance, which was criticized by 25 residents, former teachers, school board members, and PTO presidents in an October letter to the school board.

School board attorney Jeffrey Sultanik said that since Kiefer was already collecting a public-employee pension, he could work only on an emergency basis until the end of the school year, which is June 30, 2015. - Kathy Boccella