Bedden confirms consideration for Texas job

Superintendent under consideration for Dallas-area schools chief position
Dr. Dana Bedden, Richmond County school superintendent

Richmond County schools Superintendent Dana Bedden has confirmed his interest in a similar position in Irving, Texas.

 

"Recently, I was recruited for an opportunity in Texas," Bedden said in an e-mail Tuesday night. "Given the advice of my counsel and acting in the best interest of myself and my family, I responded and submitted my credentials in January. As part of the selection process, Texas school officials conducted a site visit at the RCSS this past week.

"I have received no offers nor made any decisions regarding my future as Superintendent."

Although Bedden's e-mail does not mention Irving specifically, he said in an education blog on The Dallas Morning News Web Site Tuesday that he had applied for the superintendent's job there and that officials from the Irving district visited Augusta on Monday.

"I was recruited as a candidate," the blog quoted him saying. "They're doing their due diligence to make a decision, and that's what's going on."

Bedden has been in Tempe, Ariz., this week attending an education conference. Although officials with the Irving Independent School District have refused to provide a list of candidates for their superintendent job until a "lone finalist" is named at a Thursday night meeting, The Morning News blog says that acting Superintendent Neil Dugger might also be in the running.

As for the Irving officials' visit to Augusta on Monday, three Richmond County school board members confirmed Tuesday that they had met with three Irving board members Monday to discuss Bedden.

"We were truthful and answered their questions, but we did say we'd like to keep him ourselves," said board member Helen Minchew.

The school board met Tuesday in committees -- one of which dealt with the renewal of Bedden's three-year contract, which is to expire in July. No action was taken.

Minchew said Bedden had asked her to meet with Irving officials. Board members Barbara Pulliam and Jack Padgett also confirmed Tuesday that they were at the Monday meeting. Board president Marion Barnes left Tuesday's committee meetings early, but Minchew confirmed that he met with the Texas officials.

Minchew said she was surprised the Texas officials would travel so far for the meeting, but noted, "When you're good, you're in demand."

Pulliam said Tuesday that she told them: "Yes, we want Dr. Bedden. We told them up front that we want him and we were satisfied with him."

Padgett said he also gave a positive review of Bedden.

"My position is we're very, very happy with him," he said.

Minchew said the Texas officials told local board members that they plan to decide on a new superintendent this week.

Several Richmond County board members said they couldn't discuss specifics about Tuesday's closed-door meeting on Bedden's contract, but Padgett did say negotiations continue. According to Bedden's current contract, the board can only be negotiating a renewal of his contract. His current employment contract says the board must notify him in writing at least six months before its expiration on July 31 if it doesn't intend to renew it. That deadline passed Jan. 31.

In other action

In other action Tuesday, the school board in committee meetings:

- Heard about a new process for schools to use staff and other resources to intervene in the lives of students who have had attendance problems. The idea is to cut down on truancy cases that head to juvenile court by working with students and parents earlier.

- Heard a proposal that could give the superintendent greater flexibility in factoring in a worker's effectiveness and overall job performance in determining work force reductions. Currently, such decisions take into account an employee's tenure with the system.

- Gave tentative approval to spending $504,000 for 72 Promethean boards and related devices for the system's 36 elementary schools and $128,000 for eight netbook carts with 24 computers each for certain elementary schools in need of more computers. A final vote is scheduled for the next full board meeting, on Feb. 16.

 

Bedden's statement 

(Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden released this statement late Tuesday night.)

 

In response to the numerous media inquires, I would like to release the following statement.

 

First, I would like to thank the board members, teachers, staff and community for the support they have given me as the Superintendent of Schools.  With all of your support, we have made significant progress that includes:

 

  • Ÿ The percentage of schools making AYP increased to 74% overall
  • Ÿ 90% of our middle schools made AYP
  • Ÿ The percentage of total AYP performance targets met was 94%
  • Ÿ The graduation rate increased by 7 percentage points
  • Ÿ Overall student and employee performance has improved despite the huge reductions in revenue

 

The discussions related to my contract renewal began almost a year ago.  Given the time and complexity of Superintendent contracts, my attorney advised me prior to the Christmas break that I needed to be open to other opportunities.  I shared with several Board members the advice given to me by my counsel. 

 

Recently, I was recruited for an opportunity in Texas.  Given the advice of my counsel and acting in the best interest of myself and my family, I responded and submitted my credentials in January.  As part of the selection process, Texas school officials conducted a site visit at the RCSS this past week.

 

I have received no offers nor made any decisions regarding my future as Superintendent.

 Related content:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/DN-irvsuper_10met.ART.State.Edition1.4bc7871.html

 

Topics:

More

Applications open for magnet schools

Program applications for magnet schools in the Richmond County school system will be available today for the 2017-18 school year.

... Read more

Columbia County student arrested in bomb threat

A Columbia County student was arrested Monday after making a bomb threat, police said

About 10:50 a.m., deputies... Read more