Monday, January 01, 2007

Why do we (CCISD) need a Consulting Firm?

CORPUS CHRISTI - The new year is starting, with the Corpus Christi School Board still looking for a permanent superintendent. Monday morning, members of two local civil rights organizations voiced their support for hiring someone local and avoiding the use of outside consultants. But school board members said it's not that simple.

"If we have good people out there, that understand the community that have been here and know what the community wants, then that's what we want," Bill Gorham of Lulac said.

Representatives of Lulac and the American GI Forum both said Scott Elliff, the acting superintendent, meets that criteria.

"It doesn't have to be black," Joe Ortiz of the American GI Forum said. "It doesn't have to be white; it doesn't have to be brown, but the best qualified from within."

Vice President Bill Clark of the CCISD School Board said he is not happy with the time the search has taken.

"Obviously I'm not real pleased at how it's gone because we've gotten derailed," he said.

Clark said he can't believe it's taken a year and two search firms, and yet the district is back where it started. They're now hoping a consultant will come through, a move Joe Ortiz doesn't want.

"I believe that by spending money on search firms and getting nowhere is just no good for Corpus Christi and the citizens of Corpus Christi - the taxpayers of Corpus Christi," Ortiz said.

But it's a step CCISD officials feel is the best way to handle the hiring in a fair and equal way and stay in line with state regulations.

"We can't exclude anybody that's qualified from applying for this job," Clark said, "so we can't just annoint somebody as our next superintendent. We have to go through a process."

This is a process the district would like to finish before summer.

"We want to have someone in place by the end of the school year," Clark said, "certainly before then, but by then for sure."

At the next school board meeting a week from Monday, members will outline the qualifications they want in a third-party consultant. They plan to spend about $10,000 and hope to have a consulting firm selected by February.

Comment on this story in the Discussion Forum.

Online Reporter: Erin McLemore


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