Board member Padgett hopes Bedden will stay

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Richmond County school board member Jack Padgett said today that he's hopeful Superintendent Dana Bedden won't take an open superintendent job in Irving, Texas, should it be offered to him tomorrow night.

"I still think if we offer him a fair contract, he's going to stay here," Padgett said.

However, if Bedden is offered the position in suburban Dallas, Padgett said it could cause a set back with the local school system, cost the district $25,000 to $30,000 in a search for a new leader, and he would have regrets that a local offer had not been made to Bedden earlier before he was sought out by Irving officials.

"Anything that would indicate he might leave would be a regret with me," Padgett said today, noting that he feels the board should have made an offer to renew Bedden's contract before the holidays last year.

Instead, Padgett said, two things were at play in delaying negotiations, which still continue: there was a "comfort zone" among some board members that Bedden wouldn't leave because he hadn't expressed displeasure with his job; and a big factor was that amid a downturn in the economy it became hard to get agreement among the board as to what type of salary Bedden should be offered.

"Everything that has happened in the last six months has been really driven by the economy and the lack thereof," Padgett said.

Padgett says he's in favor of offering Bedden as close to what the market value currently offers for superintendents, which he said is between $225,000 and $230,000. Currently, Bedden makes a base salary of $185,000. However, some others, including board member Jimmy Atkins, have publicly stated that although they believe Bedden has performed well he shouldn't be in line for a raise because other school system workers haven't been given one in the midst of the recession and state budget cuts.

Padgett said he would now like to have an offer to Bedden by as early as next week, but he said there still isn't a unanimous agreement on the board as to what salary to offer Bedden.

Still, Padgett said that from past conversations he's had with Bedden he feels he will likely stay put in Augusta. He said he also bases that though on the fact that Bedden was recruited for the Texas position and didn't apply until January.

"By not doing it until January, I think that means he wants to stay," Padgett said. "This is kind of last minute to me."

By Thursday night, it will be known if Bedden is named a "lone finalist" for the Irving Independent School District superintendent position, which became open last year when its 21-year superintendent retired. Irving's school trustees are expected to take a vote in the called meeting that starts at 6:30 p.m. Texas time.

A message left for Bedden on his cell phone today has not been immediately returned, but in a statement released Tuesday night he said: "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."

Also in the statement, he noted that "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." 

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Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/10/10 - 03:37 pm
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Bedden better brush up on his

Bedden better brush up on his Jerry McGuire trivia "Show me the MONEY"!!!!!

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 02/10/10 - 03:46 pm
0
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If you are going to offer Dr.

If you are going to offer Dr. Bedden Fair Market Value for his position you should offer all employees the same FMV. Especially the BOE Police Officers. It is sad that they start out around 23k- 28k per year. Each one of them is responsible for over 900 kids and staff at the schools they work and you pay them crap. That is what almost what you guys paid Bedden in a bonus! Oh yeah don't forget the FURLOUGH DAY Monday!

puppydog
228
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puppydog 02/10/10 - 04:01 pm
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In spite of the fact that I

In spite of the fact that I think Dr. Bedden has done a wonderful job here in Augusta and I would love for him to stay (my daughter is in the Richmond County school system), I think he should go to Texas if offered the position for his own sake. The petty, ridiculous squabbling among the school board members here is enough to run any competent superintendant off (plus the comments from the citizens of Augusta who are too short-sighted to realize you have to pay for quality). If you have a qualified superintendant who is doing an outstanding job, pay him what he's worth or he will find somewhere else to go that will. Just because everyone else hasn't gotten a raise is irrelevant. They would not be capable to run the school system and if you want someone who is highly qualified running the school system, you have to pay them the going rate or another school system would be happy to. The backwards people here in Augusta even shamed him into not even keeping his well-deserved and well-earned bonus that was part of his compensation package to get him to agree to take the job here in Augusta.The superintendant job is a huge responsibility and it takes an outstanding leader to be able to do it effectively. Run while you can, Dr. Bedden! I don't blame you one bit. When we go back to the status quo we had before with a failing school system, they will wish they had come off their pocket books for a job that is as important as superintendant that affects the whole community, what kind of businesses we can attract & how many people who will want to live here.

puppydog
228
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puppydog 02/10/10 - 04:06 pm
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In my above comment, I was

In my above comment, I was not referring to the school safety officers when I said it was irrelevant if others had gotten a raise or not. I do think the public safety officers do need an upgrade in their paychecks. I just meant across the board, there does not need to be an across the board pay increase for all school system employees just because the superintendant's new contract may call for a salary increase. His position affects the tax base, etc so it more than pays for itself.

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 02/10/10 - 05:24 pm
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I agree wholeheartedly with,

I agree wholeheartedly with, puppy. I find the criticism interesting. He is criticized for the furlough days, yet he took them as well. (Why don't we blame the recession on him while we're at it.) He is criticized for the performance pay, yet the board fought to get that into the contract in response to the public outcry over his predecessor's bonuses that were automatic regardless of performance. He is criticized for teachers not getting pay raises, yet the governor didn't include teacher raises in the budget. As I always say, you can't win for losing. No matter who is the superintendent, that person is going to get criticized by somebody. It's hard enough for a super to keep 10 board members happy much less an entire county.

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 02/10/10 - 05:30 pm
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I want to clarify, I am not

I want to clarify, I am not bashing Bedden at all. I think he has done a great job given what he was handed to work with. My comments are more directed to the Board Members who are out of touch with their charges, those that also work for them.

lifelongresidient
0
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lifelongresidient 02/10/10 - 05:49 pm
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augusta, you are exactly

augusta, you are exactly right when you direct your comments at the "esteemed(and i use tht term VERY, VERY loosely) school board. to show their intelligence and just plain common sense, they fight to include a bonus provision in his contract but he qualifies for it, but none of the traditional high school meet ayp?????, graduation of the traditional high school hover around 55%?????, the school system has the 6th highest percentage of black males who fail to graduate in the entire country, a higher percentage that the entire city of detroit michigan school district???? i guess in order to meet his performance goals to qualify for a bonus all he needed to do was to "almost" meet ayp or keep enuff students attending class each day so they receive their targeted levels of education funding from the state/federal governments. hence the rise of the knucklehead...ooops the alternative school

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 02/10/10 - 05:53 pm
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Lifelong, check your numbers.

Lifelong, check your numbers.

lifelongresidient
0
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lifelongresidient 02/10/10 - 06:25 pm
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my numbers are fairly

my numbers are fairly accurate, especially regarding the percentage of black males in richmond county not graduation..it was from an article published in the augusta chronicle about 4-6mths ago...the article was pertaining to graduation rate percentages of local and high schools around the nation, the traditional high schools in rich mond cnty not meeting ayp was also from an article i found in the augusta chronicle, nd the graduation rates of the traditional high schools was obtained by compiling all of the listed rates of gradutation of all of the high schools in the cnty except johnson/davidson....with those schools included the graduation rates were at approx 63-66% (being thses 2 schools have 99-100% graduation rate)...please forgive me if i don't have exact numbers....the main focus should be on my numbers, but why are these numbers are so low and no traditional high school met ayp and why isn't the school board held accountable.....

mystery30815
18
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mystery30815 02/10/10 - 06:46 pm
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Anyone who though or believes

Anyone who though or believes that Dr. Bedden would stay here long term is clearly not in touch with what happens in this area. Even if he does not take Irving position, I would be on the look out for him leaving within the next couple years. Why would anyone as career driven as he is, stay in the Augusta area, where there is no importance placed on education. Where they expect the schools to perform miracles with kids they can't even get to school. Tie teachers pay to performance. Please, tie parents welfare and food stamps to students attendance and performance.

Of course, there will be a stream of excuses as to why that would be wrong. Parents can't always be with their children, blah, blah blah. It's called parenting. It doesn't happen much in Augusta.

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 02/10/10 - 07:03 pm
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LOL...all a "student" needs

LOL...all a "student" needs is a strong family and a good teacher....all the rest is fluff.......................... the powers that be tell you all the crap you need to teach...wrong.....just good parents and good teachers.....can the rest.

mystery30815
18
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mystery30815 02/10/10 - 07:49 pm
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So so true betty!

So so true betty!

kermit
0
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kermit 02/10/10 - 08:14 pm
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Bedden is a joke-as a

Bedden is a joke-as a teacher, I see administrators forbidding teachers from writing kids up or intimidating teachers into not writing kids up or changing the forms to a less offense in order to keep the stats lookin good for bedden, bradshaw and the boys-this seems to have happened at hephzibah middle school which is why the teachers are secretly revolting against white-its a joke-gang members, druggies and repeat offenders are running rc schools but bedden hides behind stats-go 2 texas and take your bleeding heart liberal mentality.which is why the good kids suffer bc of the bad-youre a joke and a non-educator who does not empathize with teachers-which is why youre considering a raise while teachers are being furloughed-youre a joke

kermit
0
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kermit 02/10/10 - 08:14 pm
0
0
Bedden is a joke-as a

Bedden is a joke-as a teacher, I see administrators forbidding teachers from writing kids up or intimidating teachers into not writing kids up or changing the forms to a less offense in order to keep the stats lookin good for bedden, bradshaw and the boys-this seems to have happened at hephzibah middle school which is why the teachers are secretly revolting against white-its a joke-gang members, druggies and repeat offenders are running rc schools but bedden hides behind stats-go 2 texas and take your bleeding heart liberal mentality with you-youre a joke and a non-educator who does not empathize with teachers-which is why youre considering a raise while teachers are being furloughed-youre a joke

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 02/10/10 - 08:47 pm
0
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ugav1, you are directing your

ugav1, you are directing your frustration at the wrong person. The administration you work for is to blame for the changing of reports and not disciplining the students. Several administrators are so worried about making their numbers and inflating them that they are scared to put those kids out. They keep the bad kids at school for attendance reasons. They don't want it to look like the school is bad so they reduce the write up down so that it doesn't appear like they can't control the students. It is all politics at the school level. So admins, like Cross Creek and Glenn Hills don't care about AYP. "If you are not at school to learn they go away and let parents/ guardians and society deal with you".

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 02/10/10 - 08:50 pm
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And one other thing I know.

And one other thing I know. there are numerous teachers who don't know classroom management and they use the write ups to get out of managing. They write students up constantly because they don't want to maintain control over their class. They expect officers and admins to control their classes. When that is their job.

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 02/10/10 - 10:17 pm
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ugav, if this is true, why

ugav, if this is true, why haven't you reported this behavior to the PSC? It seems convenient to make anonymous comments online. It's funny how people come out of the woodworks to criticize the superintendent on here, yet no one tells the BOE, the PSC or anyone with authority of the so-called legitimate complaints. Things that make you go hmmmm.

sassylassie
517
Points
sassylassie 02/10/10 - 11:06 pm
0
0
When is Bedden or his goober

When is Bedden or his goober Svehla gonna tell us the the truth about what happened to Dr. Shepard from the alternative school? Oh, that's right. HE RAN HER OFF TOO. Just like SOOOO many others. When will the board get their heads out of their tails and STOP bowing down to this man's wishes? NO ONE in this town should make that kind of money unless they are saving lives in a hospital. He's probably still spending all his money with the ladies he hangs with downtown. Enough is enough--LET THE MAN GO! Thanks, Mr. Atkins, for having enough sense to say NO to the money. And our teachers, paraprofessionals, and officers don't get a raise? I suspect a riot will break out downtown if they give this man another dime, or every decent employee will leave this ridiculous system for some sense of sanity elsewhere. Enough is enough, folks. His kid is already in private school. What does that tell you about his feelings towards our system???? (Cut this one out, Svehla, like you do so many others posted here!)

cleanup
0
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cleanup 02/11/10 - 12:01 am
0
0
Yes, Bedden is a joke, but

Yes, Bedden is a joke, but he's good at self-preservation and media manipulation. How else do you do so poorly, improve so little, treat employees so badly, and still come out with supporters who support him based on the kid gloves the media has shown this clown since he's been here. What is evident now is that THE BOARD MUST GO, ALL OF THEM! Get someone in there who can hire decent administrators, cut the central office, treat employees with respect, and actually DO something other than creating personal photo ops for himself.

kermit
0
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kermit 02/11/10 - 06:40 am
0
0
NO Augusta voter...Im not

NO Augusta voter...Im not even talking about hose teachers which yes there are some...but things like figting and drugs are covered up...in most schools...thats a tope down decision

themaninthemirror
0
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themaninthemirror 02/11/10 - 08:17 am
0
0
Money talks,B. S. causes one

Money talks,B. S. causes one to walk! Dr. Beden, if you are offered the position in Texas, "saddle up and head west young man."

glassrinkmaker
0
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glassrinkmaker 02/11/10 - 08:23 am
0
0
Padgett wants Bedden to stay

Padgett wants Bedden to stay so his incompetence continues to overshadow that of the board!

dani
13
Points
dani 02/11/10 - 08:41 am
0
0
I find this farce as

I find this farce as distasteful at best. Why does RC insist on hiring money grabbing employees. Just how many of our dollars will this one walk away with.

usafvet
3
Points
usafvet 02/11/10 - 09:15 am
0
0
Let him go. Padgett and all

Let him go. Padgett and all the other board members need to wake up. Bedden is drawing too much money now. I don't blame him for sticking his money grubbing paw out for all he can get, I just hope he gets it elsewhere. And so far as paying 30,000 dollars for his replacement...adjust the salary down 50,000 dollars and you have just saved we tax payers 20,000 dollars. I realize that our board members are not too good at math and our commissioners love to throw money away that is not theirs. At our rate of compensation, maybe we could hire the Columbia county chairman and look at how well his system performs. I now he would really jump at the chance to run a school system/zoo. The wild animals in our schools are the real problem. We need to address that, shop for local qualified individuals, and don't insist that he must always be black. Forget political correctness and racism/affirmative action and hire the best qualified person for the job. Then our board needs to quit acting like a bunch of animals and maybe we can improve our educational system.

JustMe
0
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JustMe 02/11/10 - 02:41 pm
0
0
Two days ago I called someone

Two days ago I called someone an idiot and got my hand slapped by the chronicle and my post removed. How come SassieLassie can call Mr. Svehla a goober? Also I did not know that Mr. Svehla had the authority to cut out anything from the comments. Last I heard he does not work for the Chronicle. It is so funny to read some of these comments from people who are totally ignorant of how the system works. I also have not seen anyone ask what happened to Dr. Sheppard.

sassylassie
517
Points
sassylassie 02/11/10 - 10:22 pm
0
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JustMe, he cuts them out for

JustMe, he cuts them out for his personal perusal, not for the Chronicle itself. He doesn't work for the Chronicle, he is Bedden's personal PR person. I am NOT ignorant of how the system works because I have worked with and for them for over twenty years, so NO, I am not ignorant. Have you ever worked there? If you had, you'd be disgusted with the whole circus as well.

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