Fla. board delays decision on hiring city schools chief

Panel needs more time to conduct its search

no comment from Russo

October 15, 2002|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF

Baltimore city school officials will have to wait longer than expected to find out whether district chief Carmen V. Russo will be offered a top post in Florida.

The Florida Board of Education has delayed making a decision on filling the post of chancellor for kindergarten through 12th-grade education beyond an announced deadline of Oct. 24. Russo is a finalist for the job.

The most recent delay is the second one in less than a month. Russo, who was one of two top candidates last month, was scheduled to be interviewed in Florida on Sept. 24 with a decision expected a day later.

Then two weeks ago, the president of Florida's school board said that Russo's interview was being delayed until this month so that the board could find a third candidate and a new decision date of Oct. 24 was set.

Yesterday, Bill Edmonds, director of communications for the Florida Board of Education, said that the search and screening process has taken longer than expected.

"We want very high-quality candidates," Edmonds said. "We are not trying to get a rush job out of the [recruiting] consultant."

Russo had no comment.

Edmonds said it is not clear when the board's selection committee would do the interviews, which are open to the public.

The next regularly scheduled Florida state board meeting is Dec. 10, although it is possible that the board could make a decision before then, Edmonds said.

The other finalist for the Florida post is Clifford B. Janey, a former chief academic officer for Boston public schools who served most recently as superintendent in Rochester, N.Y.

Russo, who has slightly less than two years left on a four-year contract, was formerly an adminstrator in Broward County schools and her primary residence has continued to be a house in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Florida job is a newly created one that would be equivalent to Maryland's secretary of education post held by Nancy S. Grasmick.

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