So what will the Wake County school board majority get for paying nearly double the price of the nearest competitor for hiring Heidrick & Struggles to be the superintendent search firm?
As noted in today's article, that extra money means Heidrick will recruit non-educators to be applicants for the position. School board member John Tedesco said they felt that Heidrick would do the best job of the search firms of getting national candidates and people from the non K-12 world.
While not saying that a non-educator would be hired, Tedesco pointed to all the educators who are in senior positions who could assist the new superintendent.
Click here for a comparison sheet of the costs for the four firms that were finalists. Once the N.C. School Boards Association became a non-issue after the board majority voted to leave the group, minority members had urged hiring Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates instead.
Hazard, which has extensive experience conducting K-12 supt. searches, offered to do the work for $39,500. That includes expenses.
Heidrick is charging $82,500. That doesn't include expenses.
Heidrick doesn't have that much experience hiring K-12 superintendents. But Tedesco pointed to Heidrick's experience in searches in higher education, the corporate world and the non-profit world.
Tedesco said he didn't think Hazard would have been as able to recruit non-educators to be applicants.
Tedesco also pointed as a positive how Heidrick helped the Broad Foundation hire its CEO.
Broad operates a superintendent's academy to help train people to work in urban school districts. It trains both educators and non-educators, such as lawyers and military officers, to be superintendents.
Erica Lepping, a Broad spokeswoman, said that educators lack the business and management skills that are possessed by people who work in business or the military.
“Does it make sense to have a multi-million dollar budget run by people who have no experience in running a business of that size?” Lepping said.
Tedesco said the cost of hiring Heidrick won't be a problem because of all the money they're saving paying Donna Hargens to be interim superintendent. She'll get $5,000 a month extra for the job once Del Burns leaves the payroll at the end of June. Burns was getting more than $20,000 a month to be superintendent.
Tedesco said that the savings from no longer paying Burns will pay for the search.
The next meeting of the superintendent's search committee could take place this week.