Special Committee discusses Superintendent search for Calcasieu Parish

Special Committee discusses Superintendent search for Calcasieu Parish
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - On Tuesday, the search officially began for a new Superintendent of Calcasieu Parish Schools. A Special Committee formed to move forward with the selection process met for the first time.

The Special Committee laid out a tentative schedule for themselves to get a new Superintendent in by August 1. While it's their ideal date, it's not to say things won't change.

Tuesday, there was a lot of back and forth on details, but members wanted to move forward fairly with the selection process.

A binder was put together by the Calcasieu Parish School Board's attorney to help committee members move forward in the selection process of a new Superintendent.

Tuesday's meeting outlines the procedures they'll use. First up, qualifications.

"There's three ways they have to go through for qualification. One of them is Bulletin 746, which outlines what type of certificate they have. Then you also have for out of state, they have to have an out of state certificate and that has to be approved by the BESE board. The third thing that we're looking at is to opening it up to individuals that may not have the Superintendent's certification but has other high qualities that we were looking at," explained Special Committee Chair, R.L. Webb.

And they did decide on a Superintendent salary range. They set that at $150,000 plus existing benefits.

They next decided to utilize consultants to help in the search.

"What we do there is try to involve McNeese State University and the Chamber of SWLA, the Alliance, so we know what the public is wanting in terms of a superintendent," said Webb.

The last search committee was allotted $30,000 for advertising fees, but Webb says they only used $15,000. And that was 10 years ago.

"With technology like it is we can do it all from here just about. And Dr. Abshire is going to lead that way for us and that will save us a bunch of money," said Webb.

Lastly, Webb says the top 5 candidates will face background checks, "to make sure that they do have the qualifications that they turned in, they do not have a criminal background, they have no ethics violation."

And with no budget for the search, Webb says whatever they spend will be in the adjustment which is done twice a year.

That budget once finalized, plus all measures approved Tuesday will still need to go before the full board for a vote.

The Special Committee will continue their meeting Tuesday, February 25 after the budget session.

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