Hunt for New Schools Chief Could Prove Costly - 8 News NOW

Hunt for New Schools Chief Could Prove Costly

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CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones announces his resignation March 6 as Schools Board President Carolyn Edwards (left) stands nearby. CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones announces his resignation March 6 as Schools Board President Carolyn Edwards (left) stands nearby.

LAS VEGAS -- A potentially costly search is on for a new leader of the Clark County School District.

Outgoing Superintendent Dwight D. Jones announced his resignation earlier this week, giving two weeks notice after just two years on the job and breaking his four-year contract.

In 2010, the school district spent at least $50,000 to recruit Jones in a nationwide search.

The school board, which is leading the search for Jones' replacement, doesn't have to hire a head hunter for $50,000. It has the authority to simply name a replacement with four votes.

But that means every applicant's name must be made public, possibly discouraging better candidates from applying. The school board, with a limited budget, must decide how to spend your tax dollars.

Clark County Schools Board President Carolyn Edwards is already preparing for another budget battle.

"We have a community that really hasn't been supportive of paying a superintendent," she said.

in 2010, the CCSD board and a recruitment firm found what they felt was a competitive salary for Jones: $270,000 a year, plus benefits.

Now, the board must decide another base salary and possible incentives.

"Whether we offer some sort of a bonus for certain results, or a bonus for certainly longevity, there are some things we could do that is a compensation package that is conditional," Edwards said.

For comparison, 8 News NOW looked into superintendent salaries around the country of the seven largest school districts.

In Houston, the superintendent makes $300,000 a year, not including benefits and bonuses.

In Broward County, Fla., Robert Runcie rakes in $275,000.

At No. 5, the Clark County School District is just below Broward County.

In Miami, the superintendent receives a $275,000 base pay.

Chicago public schools chief earns $250,000 base pay and in New York City, the superintendent earns a lower salary -- about $213,000 a year.

In Clark County, Edwards said the offer will go to someone willing to commit to a contract.

"We want somebody who can see it through far enough to make sure that when they leave, it doesn't turn back," she said.

The board hasn't made the choice whether or not to use the recruiting firm just yet, but the board believes there is a larger pool of qualified candidates this time around.

A public meeting is set for March 14, when school board trustees will decide on how to move forward in finding the new superintendent.

It is unclear whether Jones will face any penalties for leaving his contract early.

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