- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha Public Schools board has decided to keep its current superintendent on the job for another year while it resets the search for a permanent replacement.

The board voted 7-2 Monday to start hammering out a new contract to temporarily keep Superintendent Mark Evans, who had previously announced he would retire in June. The decision is a move several members said will keep the district on a steady path while they pause their superintendent search and focus on the district’s other issues, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2pdH2er ) reported.

“We have yet to focus on an issue … other than this circus,” board member Yolanda Williams said. “At some point, when do we start working on the issues that are for our kids?”

Two board members and several community members spoke against the decision, saying they fear the board continues to make decisions out of the public’s eye. The opposing board members also said they were disappointed that full consideration wasn’t given to those who applied as an interim superintendent.

“This … again puts us in a position where the public distrusts us and everything we say,” board member Shavonna Holman said. “It’s incredibly unfair to completely overlook the applicants who took their time to apply for this position.”

Keeping Evans on the job should make sure a leader is in place for the next school year, after the search for a new superintendent stalled last month when all three final candidates withdrew from consideration.

“Now, Mr. Evans can continue to provide a steady hand as board members relaunch the search,” philanthropist and district donor Susie Buffett said. “This kind of consistency also sends a strong signal to the next superintendent candidates that Omaha is filled with people who really care about the schools and are committed to working together to achieve success.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com



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