Community forum planned for City Schools of Decatur superintendent search

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 23, 2015
City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices. Photo by Dena Mellick

City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices. Photo by Dena Mellick

The community will have one last chance to weigh in on the qualities they’d like to see in City Schools of Decatur’s next superintendent.

There will be a community forum on Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at CSD’s Central Office located at 125 Electric Avenue.

“The CSD community is invited to participate in a community forum to seek input on the most desirable characteristics and skills that our new superintendent should possess,” the meeting announcement says. “The consultant firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, will facilitate the forum.”

School Board members are expected to review superintendent candidates during a closed door meeting sometime in August. At their last meeting, board members approved the terms and timeline of the departure of outgoing Superintendent Phyllis Edwards, who recently announced she would be leaving CSD after 12 years.

Edwards will be a tough act to follow and is leaving CSD at a time of unprecedented growth. CSD’s test scores rank among the highest in the state. Its success has driven up property values in Decatur as parents hungry for a good public education inside the Perimeter have bought up homes inside Decatur’s city limits. The system even investigates whether parents are on the up and up when they enroll their children, in some cases sending out private investigators to verify addresses.

It’s also a tense moment for CSD. This November, voters will decide whether to raise their own taxes by 8 percent so City Schools of Decatur could borrow $75 million for school construction to accommodate the school system’s rising enrollment. Current City Schools of Decatur enrollment is around 4,300 students.  CSD consultants project enrollment will be more than 6,000 by 2020.

CSD has received scores of applications from people interested in the superintendent’s job. Edwards currently makes $220,000 a year, plus performance bonuses.

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