Atlanta Public School Board of Education approves donor funded transition services agreement for Carstarphen

The Atlanta Public School Board of Education approved a transition services agreement (vote 9-0) that would allow for the newly appointed superintendent to begin working on a transition prior to her official start date on July 7th. The cost of the transition will be funded by outside charitable donors and no APS operating funds will be used. The funding mechanism is designed to not impair funding of the organizations educational priorities.

Chairman Courtney English addressed the external funding and indicated that Carstarphen would report directly and only to the Board during this phase, that he would be responsible for reviewing and authorizing the payment of expenditures and that a “wall” was being erected between the donors and the superintendent.

The Resolution passed by the Board (see text below) stated that “there would be a significant benefit to the District if [she] could begin transition planning and execution immediately”. The Resolution also gave the Chair the authority “to request funding of these transition costs from outside charitable sources”.

The AJC reports (see here) that,

Board Chairman Courtney English said he plans to raise between $500,000 and $1 million from business and philanthropic organizations to compensate Carstarphen and her team for their interim work.

He said soliciting outside contributions will prevent draining money from Atlanta Public Schools’ $658 million general budget for next school year. Safeguards will be put in place to ensure Carstarphen isn’t beholden to private donors, he said.

“We definitely want to make sure folks know where the ultimate responsibility lies and that there are no strings attached,” he said.

She’ll work with Superintendent Erroll Davis during the transition period …Until then, Carstarphen will recruit her senior leadership team, work with Davis to hire school principals, learn about Atlanta Public Schools and collaborate with existing staff, board members said.

In addition, the AJC reports that the Transition Services Agreement contains the following provisions,

Carstarphen will be paid a daily rate in line with her previous $283,000 salary as superintendent in Austin, Texas… The rest of the contributions will compensate her transition team for their work and expenses.

Note – the Transition Services Agreement was referred to as Annex A in the Resolution passed, but has not been released publicly to my knowledge. Repeated requests – and promises to deliver a copy of what should be a public document have not been honored. This is no way to run a railroad – more comments on the APS communications process in a later post.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

Transition Resolution 042914 002


5 Responses to Atlanta Public School Board of Education approves donor funded transition services agreement for Carstarphen

  1. H.A. Hurley says:

    Mr. Courtney English, ‘no strings attached’ to 1M donation? APS has a long history of wanting residents to believe all information coming from Central Office & BOE.
    Remember, if it’s too good to be true….
    What is the rush and urgency to gather and spend a $1M between now and July? Is it possible that more $M will come APS’ way if you RUSH?
    Something is rotten in Denmark!

  2. Beverly Fraud says:


    NOW do you see why people raised red flags about this hire, and the way APS went about it?

    Any “benefit of the doubt” that this was going to be an open, honest, and transparent administration pretty much went out the window, did it not?

    Remember: If you don’t have “buy in” from teachers, you simply do NOT have success. Teachers may not speak out to due the corporate culture of retaliation at APS, but they WILL passively resist.

    Something rotten in Denmark, indeed…

  3. Beverly Fraud says:

    Why is it so COMPLETELY predictable that Maureen Downey, rather than address THIS vital issue, instead IGNORES it in order to run a fluff PR piece on APS?

  4. H.A. Hurley says:

    Most of her writings are PR Fluff! Not surprising.
    The most expensive Super triggering $1M donations…without Strings? Sure!? Is this a golden parachute upfront? What is the rush? I keep asking that same question? Can’t be that she wants to get a head start. Her salary will take a huge jump. Just think what educators could have done to educate children with those $K!
    Answer to all this from so called investigative journalist…PR Fluff?
    Celebrating the proficiency of BOE members and a principal has its place. They are doing the job they were hired for. That may get attention in APS, but should we ignore the $1M guerrilla in the APS Board room?

  5. Beverly Fraud says:

    The system system that will ask teachers to work for FREE, (read: furlough days) suddenly feels COMPELLED to make sure the highest paid official in the system doesn’t volunteer ANY time?

    And people don’t get how totally tone deaf Courtney “Credit Card” English and the rest of the board is?

    And we are “praising” this board after 100 days? Mark my words. One THOUSAND days later the same problems that plague APS today will STILL plague APS.

    Why? Because APS is not willing to change as in really change in a way that support the teacher.

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