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Bedden takes Texas job offer

Superintendent will start new position July 1

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It's official.

Dana Bedden signed his new $240,400 contract with the Irving, Texas, Independent School District after a special meeting and reception for his family tonight. At least 300 people attended the reception to support the new schools chief, said Jerry Christian, chairman of the Irving school board.

"We are very pleased," Christian added.

Messages left tonight on Bedden's cell phone were not returned.

The announcement came as no surprise. Bedden was named the sole finalist for the position on Feb. 18. By Texas law, the Irving school board had to wait 21 days before offering him a contract.

Bedden has been on the hunt for a new job since he reached an impasse with the school board over renewal of his three-year contract, which expires July 31. The new Irving contract has a start date of July 1, but Bedden seemed confident he could "work something out" with the Richmond County school board, Christian said.

Bedden has said in past interviews that he was happy in Augusta and wouldn't have interviewed in Irving if a contract had been offered to him earlier. Negotiations on a new contract started a year ago. Richmond County board members have hesitated to offer him a raise in light of the tough economic times.

Bedden's base salary, not including benefits, in Richmond County is $185,000; the base salary of Bedden's Irving predecessor is $250,000.

Over his tenure in Richmond County, Bedden has turned down job offers from Pennsylvania, another district in Georgia and two other states. When Irving officials recruited him in January, however, Bedden took his attorney's advice and flew to Texas.

Christian said that Bedden's leadership skills are what caught the attention of the Irving school board. That includes his integrity and a history of coming up with viable plans for a school district's future, he said.

Bedden's references in Augusta and previous employers were all glowing, added Christian.

School board members have already set the gears in motion toward finding a replacement for Bedden. They have said they would like to have someone in place by the end of July.

Statement from Dr. Bedden

"This evening, I officially accepted the offer to serve as the next super of Irving Independent School District.  My family joins me in thanking the community in Richmond County for its support during my three years as your superintendent.

My immediate plans are to continue to serve as the Superintendent of the RCSS until an agreed upon departure date.  During this time, I will continue focus on student learning and helping the RCSS through another challenging round of budget cuts in preparation for the next school year.

I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together in a relatively short period of time. We have restructured leadership roles, instituted a new system of accountability, and improved our public communication.  We have also had great success in building business, parent and community involvement. In addition, the district has made significant advancements in technology and made sound fiscal decisions during difficult economic times. Most importantly, we improved student achievement, as evidenced by our increase in graduation rates, test scores and the percentage of schools making AYP.

To answer any lingering doubts in our community, I want to make it clear that this decision has nothing to do with conditions in Richmond County or my relationship with the board and staff. It also has nothing to do with money. The two districts are in different financial situations and never expected the RCBOE to match an offer from Texas.

 I understood that economic conditions made it difficult for the Board of Education to come to an agreement on the terms of a contract extension.  Due to the uncertainty, and the lack of consensus of a contract extension, I chose to apply elsewhere.  I believe that it is unprofessional to apply for a position without the intent of accepting it if it is offered.  The Irving ISD offers my family and I a wonderful opportunity and we are pleased to accept it.

I ask the people of Richmond County to support the Board's effort to find the next superintendent and to understand the challenges we face as we prepare next year's budget.

 In closing, I again want to thank the Richmond County Board of Education, staff, students, parents and community for their support during my tenure as superintendent."

Comments (73) Add comment
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corgimom
33899
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corgimom 03/12/10 - 11:06 pm
0
0
"The two districts are in

"The two districts are in different financial situations and never expected the RCBOE to match an offer from Texas." Yeah, the Irving school district isn't going broke. I think that what he is saying is 100% true.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 03/12/10 - 11:20 pm
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0
I think some school board

I think some school board heads need to roll in November. There was no excuse not to keep him on, except for the ineptitude of the people stalling the contract.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 03/12/10 - 11:21 pm
0
0
He baled on a sinking ship.

He baled on a sinking ship. That's the way to teach the kids, when the going gets tough the superintendent moves on. Good riddance.

AWyld1
3
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AWyld1 03/12/10 - 11:31 pm
0
0
Who could blame him? Really

Who could blame him? Really now, do you think anyone with any sense will stay in Augusta for long?

mable8
2
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mable8 03/12/10 - 11:46 pm
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Congratulations, Dr Bedden, I

Congratulations, Dr Bedden, I know you will do a superb job in Texas. Your work in Augusta is much appreciated.

Contrarian Coach
0
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Contrarian Coach 03/13/10 - 12:13 am
0
0
Shakedown Bedden's at it

Shakedown Bedden's at it again! Money, money, money, money....MONEY!

If you don't believe me, check his career track record before he came to Augusta.

curly123053
4891
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curly123053 03/13/10 - 12:22 am
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0
Bedden did a great job while

Bedden did a great job while in Augusta and I wish him well in Irving. The RCBOE let a true leader get away.

j2says
3
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j2says 03/13/10 - 12:24 am
0
0
Yes, he did teach the kids a

Yes, he did teach the kids a valuable lesson.

Lesson 1: When you do a job well, you'll be afforded more lucrative positions.

Lesson 2: When your employer fails to negotiate your employment contract in a timely manner start looking for another job so you can continue to provide for your family (because your family are the only people that deserve an explanation and your unwavering support).

So, yeah remember that kids it will come in handy one day.

Respectfully
1
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Respectfully 03/13/10 - 12:33 am
0
0
No reason not to keep him on?

No reason not to keep him on? Did you read the part about our current financial state. Imagine how many teachers salaries would have to be further cut to pay a competitive contract amount.

corgimom
33899
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corgimom 03/13/10 - 12:43 am
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And now just wait for the

And now just wait for the flood of applicants to apply for the position- with an inept BOE, a broke school system, a school system that's 73% black and 67% free lunch with a 70% grad rate and with a bad reputation. And low pay. Oh yeah, prepare for the deluge. *snort*

And don't forget the arrogant taxpayers who, for some bizarre reason, thinks that accepting the job should be for life- when the BOE offers a 3 year contract. And it's those same arrogant taxpayers that have no problem with THEIR upwardly mobile careers, but want to deny that to someone else.

j2says
3
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j2says 03/13/10 - 12:53 am
0
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You definitely said a

You definitely said a mouthful there corgiman. I just cannot believe that people are actually complaining about the man going away to earn more money. It baffles me. I think attitudes like that are another reason he's headed west. Although, I can surmise that people who make comments begrudging the man making more money aren't like this aren't upwardly mobile and think you get a "good" job and stay there until you die or they (with no problem) get rid of you after 10 or more years of good service.

Ayetidiosi
2
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Ayetidiosi 03/13/10 - 12:53 am
0
0
Those who complain about Dr

Those who complain about Dr Bedden's income suffer wealth envy. While I do not currently earn a quarter million a year, I don't envy those who are gifted and in demand enough to do so.

Dr Bedden, I wish you luck in TX and bleach gets the smell of Richmond County off clothing and furniture best.

I simply cannot wait to see what $180k buys RC as a super. I just hope they speak English better than some "business PhD's" I've observed recently.

    btw,. Corgi? If you keep posting stuff like that which I 100% agree with, people are going to talk.

Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 03/13/10 - 01:17 am
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Corgi's first sentence on

Corgi's first sentence on this thread is the most important in my opinion. I honestly believe that the pool of applicants will be diverse and over-qualified for the position, even at 175K. With all of the lay-offs and job losses that have accompanied the Obamanation (patented phrase by another), and if the BOE is smart, (a contradiction in terms), then we have a golden opportunity to hire a quality administrator that just may have some longevity. Maybe we can get Sarge to come out of retirement if he wouldn't mind a pay-cut!

crackerjack
150
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crackerjack 03/13/10 - 01:49 am
0
0
I think Dr. Bedden is doing

I think Dr. Bedden is doing the right thing for his family. Why wait around for a bunch of duhs to make up their mind and offer a new contract.

concernednative
28
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concernednative 03/13/10 - 02:40 am
0
0
I totally disagree with the

I totally disagree with the premise of you can't offer him more money because of others not getting raises, etc. I think that is the time you need a really skilled CEO making good decisions and stretching the budgetary money farther. In short giving Bedden another $60k/yr would have been a drop in the bucket if he continued to shave millions off the budget while improving academic achievement. The fact that the school board is too stupid or lack the courage to say that means they need to be replaced. However, I have heard people that know the family say his wife didn't like Augusta she prefers larger cities. But with a contract I am sure driving to Atlanta or Charlotte on the weekends would have sufficed.

jb1968ga
38
Points
jb1968ga 03/13/10 - 03:10 am
0
0
We are better off without

We are better off without him. There are plenty of smart, able administrators who understand the economics of the day who will apply for the job. Maybe if we get the right guy we can reverse the trend of losing white students in droves and achieve a more balanced student population.

bone1
0
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bone1 03/13/10 - 06:20 am
0
0
jb, i don't believe that RC

jb, i don't believe that RC is better off without bedden. the talent pool of administrators capable of leading a large company for a pittance of what they would make in the corporate world is not that large. i hope RC finds a diamond, but they had best shoot for another up-and-comer like bedden and understand that he/she will only be around until they can find a better job somewhere else.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 03/13/10 - 07:28 am
0
0
Well, the RCBOE has been very

Well, the RCBOE has been very consistent since I moved here in '73. Bedden is the one exception where they made the right decision, on time, to help the school system here. Now, by dragging their feet, they've left Bedden with no choice but to seek better working circumstances, better support from the BOE and better income. Bedden's gain, A-RC's loss. I'm expecting a Stark clone to replace him.

justus4
103
Points
justus4 03/13/10 - 07:29 am
0
0
Now watch the RCBOE and it's
Unpublished

Now watch the RCBOE and it's attempt to find new leadership. Its gonna be a hoot 'cause they are actually the weak link. Getting a new boss will demonstrate how the board's failures lead to this development.

cristinadh
6
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cristinadh 03/13/10 - 07:48 am
0
0
Well there goes Richmond

Well there goes Richmond County School System.. time for us to move on!!

confederate american
0
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confederate american 03/13/10 - 07:54 am
0
0
bye mr.bedden,just keep

bye mr.bedden,just keep chasing those dollars,its not about the children,its always the money.this country has been sold a long time ago for the almighty dollar.wake up people before its to late.

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 03/13/10 - 08:15 am
0
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Our loss. As usual the power

Our loss. As usual the power that be, who we elect to run Augusta/Richmond county, can't see the forest for the trees. Godspeed to the Bedens.

Fiat_Lux
15890
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Fiat_Lux 03/13/10 - 08:25 am
0
0
J2says it best. An extra

J2says it best. An extra $5,000 a month would just about cover most private college tuition within two years without any change in their lifestyle. He'd have been an idiot not to take the job unless it were a threat to his life or health.

sstea
1184
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sstea 03/13/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
The BOE in Richmond County

The BOE in Richmond County has some explaining to do...nothing but a bunch of fools.

Junket831
0
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Junket831 03/13/10 - 08:31 am
0
0
This is a win win for all.

This is a win win for all. Dr. Bedden gets the raise and school system he deserves and Richmond County gets to save nearly $200,000 dollars for the coming year. Thats how it works in the real world. All of those posters blaming the Board are misplaced. You would be hollering foul if they actually did manage to keep him by increasing his salary. Not because he didn't deserve it, but you would be pointing out all the cuts that he had to implement and how if he sucked it up and didn't get a raise staff could have been retained.

The fact is our economy is in dire straights right now. School systems are a major benefactor of tax dollars which are in very short supply. That combination is going to make for some very tough decisions in the coming months. Take a look at Kansas City and you can see what is coming our way. While have Dr. Bedden's leadership and expertise would have been ideal in these tough times it would not have been in his best long term interest. He jumped off before the tidal wave hit. Smart move on his part. The Board of Education will have to now make the tough calls on their own until they hire a replacement.

glassrinkmaker
0
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glassrinkmaker 03/13/10 - 08:37 am
0
0
Thank God and TX he is gone.

Thank God and TX he is gone. Now, maybe we can quit hearing of all the great things he has done with no data to back it up!

DAMY46
0
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DAMY46 03/13/10 - 08:49 am
0
0
Who on here would not move on

Who on here would not move on with an offer of a $51,000 pay raise?....Just asking a question...

sdrwtcn
0
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sdrwtcn 03/13/10 - 09:05 am
0
0
Bye bye, country hick town!

Bye bye, country hick town!

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 03/13/10 - 09:07 am
0
0
Happy trails to you

Happy trails to you ..............................

agustinian
707
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agustinian 03/13/10 - 09:13 am
0
0
"It has nothing to do with

"It has nothing to do with the money" ..........
Hmmmmm!
And "The check is in the mail"
And "We are from the government and are here to help you"
I don't criticize moving on to a job with more pay, and maybe more responsibility --- but don't peddle this kind of nonsense, you're better than that.

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