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MCSB search committee discussion gets heated

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Monroe City School Superintendent search committee met this morning. But as with many of the meetings, this one was a little contentious.

Heated disagreements between board members and the public took center stage at the nearly two hour long superintendent search committee meeting. The aim of the meeting to set several timelines for the selection process. Instead, much of the time was spent in a contentious discussion over the formulation of a new 15 person selection committee, different from the group already approved by the board.

The proposed group would consist of 4 unions, three principals, an HR representative from the main office, and 7 people appointed by each individual board member.

"I think the meeting eventually calmed down and we got down to the nitty gritty of the selection committee" said Board President Verbon Muhammad. But some in the audience, including both teachers union reps say focusing on the topic held the meeting back from moving forward.  "I feel we are prolonging our process which will ultimately be detrimental to our kids" said Sandie Lollie of the Monroe Federation of Teachers.

"Perhaps more people should have been involved initially so there wouldn't be a need for back tracking" said Angela Miller of the Louisiana Association of Educators. Although exchanges were fiery, Muhammad says he welcomes the public input. "Hopefully this is what we are doing different in this selection process that they are going to be included so they will have a say" said Miller.

Much of the agenda not addressed Friday, will be discussed at the next committee meeting. The search committee also agreed to set the superintendent's salary between 140 to 150 thousand dollars a year.

Nothing proposed at the committee meetings  are set in stone until the full school board votes on November 12th.

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