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.
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