JeffCo BOE approves Dr. Bobby Neighbors as interim superintenden - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

JeffCo BOE approves Dr. Bobby Neighbors as interim superintendent

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Dr. Neighbors circa 2002. Source: WBRC Dr. Neighbors circa 2002. Source: WBRC

The Jefferson County Schools Board of Education unanimously approved Dr. Bobby Neighbors as their interim superintendent.

Neighbors served in the same role from 2000 to 2003. That's when the state took over the system because of financial troubles. Meanwhile, former Superintendent Dr. Stephen Nowlin will now serve as a consultant to the school system. It's a role he'll work in from home. Keeping him on staff and getting someone new in place could cost the board $679,000.

How does that all add up?

-Until June of 2015 Nowlin will continue to get his current salary of $18,000 a month. That's a total of $252,000.

-In January of 2016, the Jefferson County School board will pay Nowlin a lump sum of $219,000 to buy out his contract.

-Neighbors will be paid $23,000 until at least July 1, 2014. That's when the board would like to have a permanent superintendent in place.

-The lowest advertised salary for a permanent superintendent is $165,000 a year.

-The board can hire that person on their own or they may use the Alabama Association of School Boards to conduct the search as they did with Dr. Nowlin. If they do that, that would cost $20,000.

Jefferson County School Board President Jennifer Parsons says it's worth it.

"We would never spend that money without thinking it through very carefully," Parsons said. "It's not a whim. It's important for the future of our school district that we acted on this."

Vi Parramore, the head of the Jefferson County Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers agrees.

"I'm going to say to the parents, I understand. I get it and I don't like it any better than you do," Parramore said. "But if you have a ship with a captain leading it in the wrong directions, the ship will eventually drown. And eventually there will be collateral damage. Do you wait for that to happen or do you deal with the captain now?"

Parsons says the board expects to have Neighbors serve in an interim capacity for only a few months. Parsons says they'd like to have a new permanent superintendent in place by July 1, 2014.

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