Most of the afternoon and evening Friday, Richmond School Board members met to discuss a deal with Dr. Dana Bedden, who is their choice to turn around Richmond Public Schools.
The meeting was only supposed to last a little over an hour, but board members were only able to hash out the details after two and a half hours. This is not a done deal just yet; the contract now has to go back to Dr. Dana Bedden for his approval.
The meeting was behind closed doors without the former Irving, Texas superintendent in the room. Dr. Bedden came into town Thursday night and was at city hall meeting with officials and the interim-superintendent Friday.
While details are sparse because this is, right now, a personnel contract negotiation, NBC12 has learned Dr. Bedden's base pay will at least be $225,000. The school board put that minimum into play when beginning its search to replace Dr. Yvonne Brandon. Her base salary was below $200,000. The $225,000 figure puts Bedden on par with some other local area school leaders.
Board members considered whether to put financial incentives in the contract, which include bonuses or bumps in pay if schools or the district meet certain benchmarks. Some believe this could help make progress given the low test scores and accreditation numbers RPS has seen and the large overhaul they are expecting from the new leader.
"I think we wanted to all be clear about what we wanted to put in our contract with Dr. Bedden, make sure that our expectations were clear and make sure that we fully vetted what we wanted in there," School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne said.
If the board and Dr. Bedden are able to come to an agreement, the board is scheduled to vote on the final contract at its meeting Monday night. Oddly enough, that will actually be after Dr. Bedden's first public appearance as superintendent at the grand opening of the new Martin Luther King Middle School.
If all goes as planned, the new superintendent's official start date is set for January 13th, just ten days from now.
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