Florida the rules are different here Chapter LXXXIII
Broward County School board members can't decide on a new Superintendant for the school system, so they decide instead to hire a consultant to make them be nice to one another. If school board members feel they need Dr. Mathis service, they should pay for it not taxpayers. Of course this is Florida, that would make too much sense. Isn't this a great state or what?
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Broward School Board members, most of them in no hurry to hire a new superintendent, are focusing their attention for now on working together more effectively.
In what they considered an essential first move, board members decided at a meeting Tuesday to bring in a consultant who will help members get along on the job, identify common goals and figure out where they want the district to go.
''The way I'm looking at it, it's really the first step in a long series of things,'' said board member Stephanie Kraft.
Tuesday's decision follows the tumult that erupted after a split board fired then-Superintendent Frank Till four months ago, and a subsequent election that brought three new members to the board in November.
Jim Notter, Till's former chief of staff, has been acting superintendent since November. There has been little urgency since then to find someone to fill the job permanently.
''It's not like we're floundering and everything's falling apart,'' said School Board Chairwoman Beverly Gallagher. ``Everybody's so happy, you hate to rock the boat.''
That philosophy is not unusual, experts say.
''When there's a termination, I generally advise the board if they've got a good interim to let things settle down and then decide what they're going to do,'' said Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association. ``There's no need to rush out and hire a superintendent tomorrow.''
NO BIG RUSH
Janet Bravo, chairwoman of the District Advisory Council, a group of parents, school and community leaders, said there has been no clamor for a search to begin.
Board member Eleanor Sobel, who was elected in November, has been one of the few voices urging that a search start as soon as possible.
`WHAT'S GOING ON?'
'If you bring up the topic, people say `What's going on?' '' said Sobel, who was out of town and did not attend Tuesday's meeting. ``People expect us to have a search.''
Sobel is not opposed to the training, but thinks that the board should continue its search for a superintendent simultaneously.
''We could chew gum and walk at the same time,'' she said.
But Gallagher said it is important for the nine-member board -- which, besides the three new members last year, got two new members in 2004 -- to first get itself in order.
''After we get ourselves working together . . . we will be able to move forward in our agendas,'' she said. ``And we have some heavy things to look at.''
Dr. Bill Mathis, the California-based management psychologist who has been hired to work with the board, said he will meet with members individually and as a group in early March.
He said he will work with them to help them lay out goals and objectives, understand their roles, work with district staffers and talk about how they will treat each other.