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Baltimore County schools facing time crunch in search for new superintendent

Verletta White, the interim superintendent of the Baltimore County schools, has expressed an interest in being considered by a search committee considering a permanent candidate for the job.
Verletta White, the interim superintendent of the Baltimore County schools, has expressed an interest in being considered by a search committee considering a permanent candidate for the job. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

The Baltimore County school board will hire a firm to conduct a national search for a new superintendent, leaving less than six months to complete the process before a July 1 target to have a permanent superintendent secured.

School Board President Kathleen Causey said the board has asked the school administration to look at the best way of hiring a search firm. She said the board could piggyback off an existing contract from another school district in order to shorten the process.

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If not, the board will have to issue a request for proposal, wait for bids to come from interested firms, and then pick a firm, all of which could take weeks.

When searching for a new superintendent, most school boards begin such a process in the fall with the hopes of hiring a superintendent by April or May.

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Baltimore County teachers say they will protest a revised school budget which gives them little pay increases.

By state law, superintendents can only have contracts that begin on July 1. So if the school board does not act to hire a superintendent in the coming months, it would have to hire an interim superintendent.

“We are looking to do this in a thoughtful way, but we do have a timeline from the state,” Causey said. “We are looking to move this work forward as reasonably possible.”

The board has been delayed because a new board was appointed in early December, and since then, Causey said, it has been busy with the capital and operating budgets.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Verletta White said that superintendent Karen Salmon had told her the ethics review panel’s findings are cause for “concern.”

Verletta White, who has been an interim school superintendent for a year and a half, has said she will apply for the permanent job.

“As I’ve always stated, I am personally and professionally invested in Baltimore County Public Schools,” said White. “I look forward to continuing the good work we’re doing for students and I look forward to sharing those success stories during the search process.”

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