Fayette BoE extends Supt. Bearden’s contract

Leonard Presberg, chairman of the Fayette County Board of Education. Photo/Ben Nelms.

‘Vision’ touted as board votes 5-0 for added 18 months to 2015

There was virtually no discussion to a motion made Monday night at the Fayette County Board of Education to extend Superintendent Jeff Bearden’s contract by 18 months. The contract was set to expire in January 2014. The board voted 5-0 on the measure.

Listed as “Superintendent’s Contract” on the agenda, board member Janet Smola made the motion that Bearden’s contract be extended through June 2015, effectively extending it for 18 months after the current contract expiration date. The motion also included the provision that the extension include a cost of living increase if such an increase is given to all certified school system employees.

Bearden currently gets paid a base of $153,000 a year.

The motion received a second by board member Terri Smith.

Chairman Leonard Presberg called for a discussion on the motion. Hearing none, Presberg said he hears a lot of support for Bearden in the community, adding that Bearden’s vision for the school system mirrors the message on needed changes in public education for the future coming from other areas statewide.

“I strongly support the motion to extend the superintendent’s contract and to give him the time and flexibility to continue us on this journey,” Presberg said.

Smith also commented on the motion. Agreeing with Presberg, she supported the contract extension that would give Bearden a total of three more years, including the 18-month extension, to continue his work with the school system.

The vote was 5-0, though board member Marion Key hesitated before casting her vote.

After the meeting Presberg and Smith were asked why Bearden’s contract was extended even though he was only halfway through the three-year contract period.

“To give him the security of a three-year contract. He (initially) had a three-year contract and we don’t want to lose him in December of next year. So it’s like what he started with, three years,” Smith said.

Smith continued her comment, noting that typically a superintendent’s contract runs along the lines of the fiscal year, so it made sense to have the contract end at the end of the fiscal year rather than halfway through the fiscal year that runs July through June.

Asked if the contract extension might have anything to do with the make-up of the school board potentially changing in January following the elections, Presberg said, “Given the budget and a lot of things that are distressing I think it’s important for us at this time, and given all the hard things we’re doing, to show support that we have for his vision for our system. As we move forward with the strategic plan adoption and move into the fall with probably the hardest thing a school board has to do, which is closing schools, I think the staff and the community need to know that regardless of all this hard stuff we support what he’s trying to do with this system.”

renault314
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I see a lot of complaints but no solutions

I'm not going to sing the mans praises, he hasnt really impressed anyone yet. But to all those people out there wanting to string him up by his toes, what would you have done? When I was in the military, we were taught that you werent allowed to complain about anything, unless you had an alternative solution or a reasonable suggestion to make it better. So many people say this guy is the worst, but no ones seems to be able to offer an alternative to his decisions. 90% of the budget is payroll. But if he had started laying off teachers left and right, everyone would have marched on his office with torches and pitchforks. he could have let a few people in the front office go, but the savings from that would have been a drop in the bucket. That would have been more of a symbolic gesture than a fiscal one, but perhaps worth considering, if only for that reason. That only leaves him with 10% of a steadily declining budget to play with. I personally would have moved faster to close the other schools, but maybe they couldnt redraw the districs fast enough. Who knows. Like I said, I'm not president of his fan club or anyting, all I know is none of you are offering anything better than what hes done.

Veritas
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Renault ...actually if you pay attention there have been

Actually, if you go back and read from whence this all began (back in April) many recommendations were made by other board members, myself here on earlier posts and others on these blogs. In each case they were more responsible and equitable than what Bearden has proposed. The citizen even had an article with some of the other recommendations from those who disagreed with his proposal. Bearden has refused to listen and or reason. Other systems had complete audits completed with recommendations within six months of a new superintendent being appointed. Then recommended closing schools and redistricted a much larger system within one month of the recommendation. So, other systems and administrations are more capable and adept than ours? Apparently so!

PS
No matter what no one will make everybody happy that's just reality. So people will complain, gripe, fuss, p*** and moan. It's much easier being the heavy when new as opposed to postponing the inevitable and possibly destroying those real relationships developed over that time.

NUK_1
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BOE Solutions

1) Some schools should have been closed for this upcoming fiscal year. The BOE and Bearden knew a year ago-even with the lousy Finance dept the BOE has-that a 10mil or more deficit was staring them in the face. Rather than make painful but incremental moves on school closings...put it off another year and then make it even more brutal.

2) The BOE admin itself needs to be reorganized and positions eliminated. School superintendents are redundant and don't have what I would describe as a track record of success anyway.

3) The austerity moves should have begun immediately before this past school year started.

4) Larger class sizes and fewer teachers. I doubt anyone really "likes" this idea but it becomes completely necessary because of the financial disaster the BOE has created. There isn't any way around this reality and it's also never been proven beyond doubt that smaller class sizes = better educated students for that matter in most cases.

5) Adoption of the used-to-be-traditional school calendar of Sept to June 1st in order to save on utility costs that are at their very highest during the Summer, i.e. August. Eliminate the useless "winter break" of a week.

That's just a few of the bigger ones. Obviously, there is going to be passing along more of the actual costs of benefits to employees, probably bumping school lunch prices up as well as after school programs, consolidation of bus routes, etc.

hsh87
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You're absolutely right!

Nuk you are so right - please tell me you are running for one of the BOE seats! And yes, I know first hand suggestions are made and then ignored. And why is it they are talking cost of living raises? Remember there's no money. And this dude makes $153000 a year, no wonder he didn't see the hurt removing the amount the BOE paid for employee benefits, that small amount would just be a ding in his income. I know employees that the "small" amount is going to hurt greatly. Wow! Being paid that much, I expect something great. I think Smola and Smith did that because with any luck and sensible voters, they're as good as gone!

SPQR
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just great

new board has no reserves but they do have Mork

skittles44
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Too early

It is still too early to decide on the effectiveness of Dr. Bearden as superintendant. He has only had the position for 17 months. Do you truly expect him to completely clean this mess up in that short amount of time? BTW @ Veritas....the trip to Virginia Beach was completely funded by Truet Cathy's chicken shop.

Veritas
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skittles ...

No one expected a quick fix just a modicum of intelligence in order to make fiscally sound decisions to start in the right direction.. Dr. bearden has neither. Protecting himself and the administration by dumping the burden on the backs of those who can least afford it. The man is weak and uninformed .. every other county in similar situations has a reserve , a superintendent who made the tough decisions ie ( other systems get a complete audit and budget completed within 6 months of the new superintendent taking office, they also make the tough decisions to go ahead and close schools, cut upper level positions, etc. ) ours can barely tie his shoe to kick the can further down the road. Yes , I know Chik-fil-a allowed Bearden to use the company's jet. My point is it was a complete waste of time just because he saw VB schools mentioned in a book he had to read for his NOVA course. This information could have been obtained with 10 minutes of research. All that effort just to come back and say " uh there is no comparison , Fayette county is above and beyond Virginia Beach schools".

NUK_1
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Expectations of Bearden

I don't expect someone to submit a budget that uses all 13mil of reserves in order to balance it and also requires a tax anticipation loan/note. That's non-leadership,putting off the problems yet again, and about as reckless fiscally as possible. Bearden accepted the job knowing the BOE was already maxed on millage and that tough times were coming. His way of addressing the crisis is very lacking.

Worked well for him, though. He managed to get an extension of his contract before the drastic cuts have to be made or people with half a brain get elected to the BOE. Smooth.

citizenal
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NUK_1 is making excellent points

What is so difficult to understand? I hope he works well with the new BOE!!!

Robert W. Morgan
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Priorities for school superintendents

1. Job security for self. Be sure there is no obvious #2 on your staff.
2. Job security and maximum retirement benefits for teachers and front office personnel. Cafeteria workers, bus drivers, janitors - not so much.
3. Do whatever the teacher's union wants
4. Keep the school board focused on building new schools so they approve whatever you propose on operations.
5. thru 20. the list goes on like this until we get to item 21.
21. If there is time, teach the kids something that may be useful to them in the future.

Veritas
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Robert .

gain there are NO teachers unions in GA.

renault314
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verias- there are teachers unions

like PAGE and GAE. I know, I'm a member. But as teachers have no ability to strike in this state, (something I'm fine with BTW) any modicum of power they might have is severly limited. I would always chuckle at the e-mails I'd recieve from my local rep telling me how he was going to go down to the local school board meeting IN PERSON to read a "very sternly worded letter" on behalf of blah blah blah. I mean, he's doing what he can but really........
Anyway, I'm sure thats what you meant to say veritas and I've told RWM about this myself several times. He just really dislikes unions, but I can't blame him for that.

Veritas
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Dbl

.

Veritas
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Renault

GAE and PAGE are not UNIONS by any stretch of the imagination or definition.. Georgia is a right to work state are you really that naive or ignorant? It's become obvious you don't know.
Also you do know that with Bearden's cuts you will be taking More than a 4.5% pay cut as will many teachers and every teacher with a T-4 with 25 yrs or less experience.
http://www.unions.org/unions/georgia/10

mudcat
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You protest too much, truthseeker

May I ask then, non-union member why is a 4.5% paycut so bad when there is an almost 9% decline in enrollment of students? And a bigger decline in graduation rates. Any accountability here? That's a freaking question non-union teacher, just answer it.

Does that mean the teachers deserve the same pay for teaching fewer students or does it mean we should just ignore the decline in the number of students, the decline in the number that graduate, the decline in state funding, the decline in local taxes and just keep on keeping on? Keep it up for the sake of the teacher's retirement fund? Are you nuts? How does that make sense?

To put this into focus for the private sector, we are talking about a teacher who works half a year earning $50,000 plus health insurance and retirement -probably $75,000 with that and he/she is now teaching 20 students how to do ..................... what? What you teach them truth seeker? Spill the beans.

It only makes sense if you belong to a union and they tell you what to think and say and how to vote and cover your butt with insurance when you do something questionable.

renault314
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Mudcat- where do you get these numbers?

What sources can you quote to show that there has been a decline in graduation rates? Also, you are aware of course that 70-80 teachers positions have been dissolved county wide. I think almost as many last year. Yes, enrollment has been declining, but so has the number of teachers. There are no teachers I know that only have 20 kids in their class. As a matter of fact, state rules have been waived again, and max class sizes can be as high as 35 next year in some cases. Also, you implied that i recieve nearly 25K/yr in benefits, thats a laugh. This forum has been lit up recently with talk of how our bennies are being reduced. Not added to or even staying the same. Reduced.
I could understand you being so upset if anything you were talking about were even remotely true. But, Good News! Its not.

Veritas
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Mud kitty read closely

You came in a day late and a dollar short. You missed my point entirely..I'm all for a 4.5% reduction in pay ACROSS THE BOARD. The point I am making is that if you take a 4.5% across the board pay cut not only would it be more equitable but save more money than this half hearted attempt Bearden is making. Protecting himself and the administration by dumping the burden on the backs of those who can least afford it. Here it is for you and all too see ..
Benefits Reduction = $1116.00 pr.Yr. plus 5 days lost pay   v/s 4.5% across the board
 
T-4 at 25+ yrs=$56076.00……………$2523.42=4.5%
Daily pay $295.14​              $2591.00= how much Bearden Budget is taking
 
Fact : Any level T-4 teacher is taking more than 4.5% under Bearden
 
T-5 at 15-16 yrs=$58091.00………….$2614.10= 4.5%
Daily pay $305.74​                          $2646.00= How much Bearden Budget is taking
 
Fact : Any T-5 teacher under 17 yrs exp. is taking more than 4.5%under Bearden
 
 
T-6 at 8yrs =$58322………….$2624.49.06=4.5% (@9-10 4.5% is roughly $5.00 mr)   Daily pay $306.96                               $2650.80= how much Bearden budget is taking
 
Fact : Any T-6 teacher under 13 yrs exp. is taking more than 4.5% under Bearden
 
 
* Granted I really doubt you’ll find any Ed.D or Ph.D in Fayette county with less than 7 yrs.
 
Every T-1 and T-2 Career Technology & Agricultural Education is taking greater than a 4% paycut under Beardens Proposal
 
 
 
Fact every Bus Driver, Cafeteria worker, Clerk / Secretary (in a school) , Para Pro and Custodian is taking more than a 4.5% pay cut Under Bearden’s Budget.
This disparitity grows exponentially as you go down the payscale.
 
Not One single administrator (Principal , Asst. Principal or County office Admin will come close to taking a 4.5% reduction in pay under Bearden’s Budget. Some are barley taking a 1% cut.
So please pay attention and get all the story before you try and jump in.
The Union no Union arguement is done.. So read on my friend.

mudcat
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You make $300 per day? For what, maybe 6 hours?

I'm getting less of a simpatico feeling here. $50 an hour? And whining? $50 per hour, full health care, cushy retirement at almost 100% at age 55, no dress code, no real accountability (like students pass or fail), summers and many, many holidays off - meaning a chance to earn another $30k as a tutor or tree surgeon if you choose to do so.

Hang on to that government job and stop whining. No wonder Bearden says he has 200 applicants for every job.

Of course I agree that the 6-figure clowns in the main office need a cut as well. I think 10% there is fair. Just asking, do they work all year for that $100k or are they on half schedule as well?

Veritas
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Silly little cat

Lol you have no idea how much I make a day nor how many hours I put in. But I will tell you that teachers have a thankless job. Remember when Ol' Roy was going to fix teachers and get all those professionals to come from industry jobs and show them how it was done. None of them lasted six months before they high tailed it back to the private sector. You haven't once seen me complain about how much I make. MUDCAT more like MUD BUNNY jumping to conclusions. You are among the misinformed.
No full health care for teachers, no where near 100% retirement (up to 60% if they work at least 30yrs if they work 40yrs they can make 80% and teachers pay into retirement just like the private sector) and they definitly have a dress code , oh no here I go NO UNIONS... Lol..and Bearden is full of BS. Now I can play the how much everybody gets paid game as there are jobs that pay far more than teachers for far less work and there are jobs that pay far less for more work but guess what ... that's life.
Sorry you missed my point again about placing the burden on those that can't afford it and try to make an more equitable and much more fiscally responsible and effective decision. So hop away and have a great night! You silly people make me laugh
;-)

skittles44
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Nice "facts" mudcat

Sounds like Mudcat might be a little jealous. Let me straighten out these facts for you clearly.
I actually make around $37/hr, not the $50 you state. I actually work 8 hours a day, not the 6 as you state. To be fully vested in the retirement system you must work for 30 years...has nothing to do with the age of 55. Dress code is strict for me, not “no dress code” as you stated. We pay around $425/monthly for healthcare and $44 for dental.
No real accountability??? I'm not even sure how to respond to that. We are accountable to the principal, parents, community, and students. 30K as a tutor??? This statement is so absurd it deserves no response.
You obviously are not speaking from a perspective of knowledge. The least you can do is make sure your comments are reliable and factual.
One more thing, if you like the benefits that teachers have then change careers and join and stop whining from behind your computer screen.

renault314
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veritas, wrong again.

Whats your problem Norma Rae? Thats twice in as many posts that youve called me naive or ignorant because you disagree with something ive said. can you not make your point without resorting to personal attacks?
And since you were talking about definitions, from the american heritage dictionary : Union, An organization of wage earners formed for the purpose of serving the members' interests with respect to wages and working conditions.

Now whos ignorant? Clearly PAGE and GAE meet this standard. Just because they dont have much power doesnt mean they werent formed for that express purpose, which was all i said. Just because Hoffas not the prez doenst mean thay arent a labor union. Thanks for letting me know that Ga is a right to work state, since thats what i already said in the previous post. Unless you think "not having the power to strike" means something else.
And believe me, I am intimately familiar with how much my pay cut will be next year. But seriously, I would rather take a few % cut to stay in FayCo than a few % raise to teach anywhere else around here. If a teacher wants to skip town over a few % then good. Id rather have people loyal to this community anyway.

Veritas
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Renault

Once again you have absolutely no clue. Personal attacks not quite just pointing out the obvious. The point I am making which seems to be far beyond your mental capacity is that if you did a 4.5% across the board pay cut not only would it be more equitable but save more money also. You have proven what I thought as was naïveté as pure ignorance. Once again GAE are NOT UNIONS if so they would be illegal under Ga law.i
P.S Page and GAE cannot negotiate wage or working conditions by STATE LAW..

renault314
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veritas- seriously calm down.

before you blow a gasket. No one has said that PAGE and GAE can negotiate wages or go on strike. Let me repeat, no one has made that statement. So your repeated statements that they dont have that power makes you sound like a broken record, railing against a point no one has made. What you fail to grasp is that the power to bragain collectively is not the single defining charcteristic of unions. They can still exist without that power. Additionally, you fail to grasp the reality that teachers can belong to national teachers unions, who also do not have the power to negotiate in GA, but are still unions nonetheless.
Are you really going to sit ther and say that calling someone you dont know, naieve, ignorant and that things are "beyond my mental capacity" is not a needless personal attack?

Veritas
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Renault

My my aren't we Susie sensitive. Railing ...not at all haven't even put my adult beverage down to address you and actually laughing my butt off. What you keep repeating is patently wrong , naïveté and or ignorant. You want to call black white . My point is exactly by your own definition Page and GAE are not Unions. Oh and the last parts were personal just as your attack "Norma Rae ". Ignorance as in being unaware and uninformed is not personal it just means you do not or have not been exposed to the facts( obviously) and naive as in Inexperienced and again obvious. I keep repeating because you did state in your definition of a union " Union,, An organization of wage earners formed for the purpose of serving the members' interests with respect to wages and working conditions" these criteria and powers GAE and PAGE do not have. Do you not read what you write? Now we can keep going back and forth with your ignorance / naivete of the subject and tit for tat but facts are facts.

PS as a teacher would you not correct a student who is taking / using erroneous information as fact?
Please become informed and read carefully.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/_/dict.aspx?word=Teachers'+union

http://www.enotes.com/education-reference/teacher-s-unions-collective-ba...

NUK_1
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Cage Match Friday Night: Veritas vs. renault314 !!

TWO go in...only ONE comes out!

Don't miss it...BE THERE!!!

renault314
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Nuk whats really funny

is that my origional comments agreed with him, that RWM was wrong in saying that unions had sway here. he just cant get over the fact that you dont need collective bargaining rights to be a union. He so stuck on that particular point he ignores everything else, like the dictionary definition of union i provided him that said nothing about collective bargaining i might add.
Still. Meet me at the dunkin donuts parking lot on friday bout 5 and well settle this thunderdome style. or we can rochambeau for it, south park style. i go first.

phil sukalewski
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Website listing the teachers unions in Georgia:

Here's one website listing the teachers unions in Georgia:

http://teachersunionexposed.com/state.cfm?state=GA

Georgia Association Of Educators
Atlanta Federation Of Teachers Aft
American Federation Of Teachers

There is also:
Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE)
Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE)

phil sukalewski
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Website listing the teachers unions in Georgia:

Here's one website listing the teachers unions in Georgia:

http://teachersunionexposed.com/state.cfm?state=GA

Georgia Association Of Educators
Atlanta Federation Of Teachers Aft
American Federation Of Teachers

There is also:
Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE)
Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE)

Veritas
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Ignorance abounds

No Teachers Unions in Georgia Period. They have no collective bargaining power, they do not negotiate wages or working conditions, there are no agreements .Georgia State law prohibits this dee dee dee. Your web site is bogus much like when flaming Libs want to use the Daily Kos or huffington post as a reliable reference next time quote the bloggers favorite Wikipedia ... LOL . Apparently you people couldn't research and pass a legitimate research paper in high school let alone a university siting your sources. Now don't misinterpret my point. I am not for or against unions. They have both good and bad points. I'm just tired of reading the misinformed spout Bovin excrement as if they know what they are talking about.

Robert W. Morgan
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You are correct. I should have teachers unions - plural

since there seems to be more than one. Looks like 5 on Phil's list.

The unions tell the rank and file to parrot this line "We are not a union because we don't have collective bargaining rights with regard to teacher salaries" and then if you get pushed too hard say "Besides, Georgia is a right to work state so there can't be any unions here" Really?

We are only a few steps away from a Democrat takeover of the state legislature at which time the teachers unions would get collective bargaining and Georgia would cease being a right to work state. Then your union dues would triple and be taken directly out of your paycheck and siphoned directly to the DNC. Check out how New York City hires and fires and disciplines teachers up there.

Veritas
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Phil's source is a joke

GA k-12 teachers do not have nor can they attain Tenure!!
You guys are hilarious !!!

renault314
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RWM -couldnt agree with you more

I think unions in general are terrible for the country. Its nothing but legalized extortion and the citizens get screwed. prices go up and quality goes down, and thats expecially true for techers. Lets just hope Wisconsin is the way the wind blows this november.

wildcat
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question

Can't the new board fire him if they want? We may not be stuck for another three years. Maybe they can talk that one guy into reapplying...you know...the fat cutter???

PTC Observer
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Chairman Presberg - Journey?

"“I strongly support the motion to extend the superintendent’s contract and to give him the time and flexibility to continue us on this journey,” Presberg said."

Journey? What the heck does that mean? What's the vision? What's the goal? What's the time frame for this "journey"?

These are simply pretty little words that mean nothing in the real world pal.

You guys are spending us down a hole, that's the real world. Let's close some of these schools and concentrate our efforts on providing the best education in the nation to the remaining students in Fayette County.

Journey, you've got to be kidding us, reality is reality and you're not dealing with it.

Dondol
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PTCO Chairman Presberg - Journey?

You know I always thought he looked like Frodo Baggins, now he sounds like him too! Journey my a$$, its called a job, what is this guy smokin?

I Heart Fayette
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I don't think many of us can

I don't think many of us can fathom how challenging it is to lead a school system through such difficult times. Dr. Bearden has the vision, courage, and diplomacy needed, along with the thick skin to repel all the critics. I am glad he will be around for awhile.

Veritas
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You've got to be joking...

The man has been an abject failure... He has made poor fiscal decisions driving this system into oblivion.. His online education is a joke and has proven he has no clue as to what to do or how to run a system effectively . (Lets fly to Virginia Beach to find there is no comparison to Fayette county... Which could have been done in a 15 min web search). His ego is only matched by his ignorance on fiscal management. He knew if he had to wait until the contracted time more than likely the new board would send him packing.

autojockey
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BOE'S decision on Supt. extension

This seems to be a little premature.If he had done his job in a timely fashion these five schools would alresdy be ear marked for closing.He is way over his head.He needs to clean house in county office.He needs to prove that he knows what he is doing before he gets any kind of extension.He leaves a lot to be desired.

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