Monday, the Jackson Madison County School Board held a special called meeting from 4:00 PM until about 5:45 PM. The meeting was to hear presentations from and ask questions of two organizations that have been asked for proposals to assist in the search of the next Jackson Madison County Director of Schools.
The first presentation was from the Tennessee School Board Association.
According to their website the TSBA is "a non-profit, private service organization whose mission is to assist school boards in effectively governing school districts. The Tennessee legislature in 1953 officially recognized TSBA as “the organization and representative agency of the members of schools boards of Tennessee” and authorized TSBA to provide services through membership dues paid by school boards. All of our programs, meetings and services are designed to help school boards and their members to better serve the children in their school system."
The board met, via video conference, with TSBA Executive Director, Dr Tammy Grissom. The TSBA proposal presented described their service as "offering maximum flexibilty to the Board" and "assures the board has total control of the decision making process"
The School Board Association will assist the board in all aspects of the search including; Advertising, recruiting candidates, Receiving and conducting checks of candidate's credentials and references, Scheduling interviews and providing interview assistance, and aiding in the contract negotiation process.
The cost for the service varies depending on specific requests and special needs of individual boards but the estimated cost for the search without community group meetings is $5,000.
The other offer comes from BWP and Associates.
BWP was introduced to the board at the last superintendent search process. The Jackson Chamber of Commerce offered to aid the board in the search process by recruiting and paying for a national search group and to provide leadership assistance with the development of a 5-year strategic plan.
BWP was unable to produce a candidate the board members could agree on to lead the system and replace Dr Nancy Zambito.
During this time Buddy White had been serving as Director of Schools, the board eventually offered White the contract.
In their presentation BWP addressed what they called "Issues With The Past Search". Some of what they called 'issues" include; that the search was conducted at the wrong time of year, that the salary range offered was too low, two of the slated candidates had left their past positions under "fire", That board members would not follow BWP recommended procedures because of the boards adherence to state open meeting laws.
BWP says the new board is a better board to work with and incumbent board members now know and understand the process and their mistakes of the past.
BWP is offering an expedited search process, similar to that of the TSBA, for which they will not charge a consultant fee but will charge all expenses to the Jackson Madison County School System.
Those expenses could include: partner and associate travel, hotel accommodations, interview costs, secretarial costs, postage, telephone and technology charges, costs of advertising, candidate interview costs, and other related expenses.
Conservatively these costs could reach in excess of $8,000 - $9,000.
The board members will discuss and consider their options and could vote to retain one of the organizations as early as Thursday's meeting.
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