What's the price tag for CPS' 2nd superintendent search?

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Public School board is starting up it's second nationwide search to find a superintendent.

The board met again on Monday night, and even though the application deadline is March 15, the dollar signs are still ticking by.

Former superintendent Rosa Blackwell retired when her contract ended on July 31, 2008. That initial search for her replacement ended in June of 2008, after the board declared neither of the two finalists was a good fit for Cincinnati.

It appointed Mary Ronan as interim superintendent for up to a year, and she is currently doing the job.

But what's all this cost for taxpayers, especially as districts all over the Tri-state are cutting back?

The superintendent will run a $445 million dollar general operating budget with 34,000 students. Overall, the search could cost $17,000 in the end.

"What we're doing is we're making a consorted effort to contact all the people that we know across the country so that they can get the best candidates possible," said Eileen Reed with the Cincinnati Board of Education.

This time, school officials say it will be different and cheaper.

Last time, the district spent more than $35,000.

"Unlike last time we are not using, or at least the board is not using a search firm," said district spokeswoman Janet Walsh. "We tried that last time and it was not as successful as we would have liked the board is using more in house resources and the services of a local consultant."

But what about saving the search and money and making interim superintendent Mary Ronan the permanent replacement?

"If she applies, you have to remember people keep saying, why don't you just appoint Ms. Ronan, it's not that we're against appointing Ms. Ronan, we made her interim superintendent because we know that she does a good job," said Reed.

So will this search cost another $35,000?

"Less than half of that," said Reed. "We are using a local person who helped us with the last search.