The Morgan School Board has approved a settlement with departing superintendent Joseph K. Ball, placing him on leave through the end of the school year and assuring glowing job recommendations to his prospective employers.

But the agreement, approved during a special board meeting Tuesday night, does not include a cash settlement.Ball submitted his resignation Jan. 25, saying he felt he no longer had the support of the school board in running the district. The resignation ended two years of controversy surrounding Ball's management methods and use of school district funds as well as the unusually large number of closed executive sessions held by the previous school board under the leadership of former board president Earl McCain.

The agreement provides Ball with 32 days of unearned extra leave with full pay and benefits, plus three additional months of health insurance at about $170 a month.

Coupled with earned vacation, Ball will be paid through May 31, the day he officially resigns, without returning to the school district, where he already has vacated his old office.

The settlement also gives Ball a new set of tires for his car, which board members said is covered by a portion of his contract indicating the district will cover operational expenses of a leased car.

But the agreement also stipulates Ball be given leave without pay for June - the last month covered in a two-year contract for services signed during the 1987-88 school year.

Ball's salary for the current school year, including his Christmas bonus, is just under $57,000, or about $4,750 a month.

Lane Ronnow, business administrator, said the Morgan district "gained monetarily" from the settlement because the agreement paid him less than if the district had "paid his contract out" through the end of June.

The school board voted not to oppose Ball's application for unemployment benefits and agreed to answer inquiries from any of Ball's future employers by sending them copies of a letter of recommendation written by McCain, the former board president.