Board officially begins superintendent search

State association will assist Richmond in finding new leader

The Richmond County school board agreed tonight to begin the search process for a new superintendent with the help of the Georgia School Boards Association - the same group that helped the board during its last search.

With board member Venus Cain the lone dissenting vote, the board agreed to have the association conduct a national search at a base fee of $8,000, with travel and other costs in addition to that.

"I think the more choices we have the better we would be," said board president Marion Barnes after a discussion about whether the search should be regional or national. Board members were told the only additional cost for a national search would be in advertising in national publications.

The association has also recommended that an online survey for the public be posted on the school system's main Web site, and a public meeting be set at to get the public's views on what it would like in a new superintendent.

Superintendent Dana Bedden recently accepted a superintendent position in Irving, Texas. 

The association's timeline recommends that the school system have candidates in for interviews by June.

Board member Venus Cain asked if the search's overall cost could reach $20,0000, and she was told it could.

"If we couldn't come up with $20,000 for the superintendent, how are we going to come up wtih $20,000 to do a search?" she asked, referring to how some on the board had qualms about offering a raise to Bedden. "We don't have it to spend."

Earlier tonight board members also agreed to offer teachers two more early release days to make up for an unpaid day earlier this school year.

The board voted to allow teachers to leave early on April 1 and April 29. April 1 was a regular school day, but April 29 was a professional learning day. Early releases allow students to leave two hours early, and teachers will be allowed to leave with the students on those days.

Teachers have had their pay docked the equivalent of five furlough days this school year, but they've been given the equivalent of only four days off, mostly through early release.

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