MIAMI (WSVN) - Things got heated between some Miami-Dade County Public School Board members during a special meeting regarding the superintendent’s position.
The meeting on Wednesday began at 9:30 a.m.
School officials were set to discuss Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s departure and how to move forward with his replacement.
A month and counting is what remains of his tenure leading Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
“This is what is important and what I think the board would want to know and the public, that his decision to make Feb. 3 to be his last day of work,” said School Board Chair Perla Tavares Hantman.
During the meeting, members of the community expressed the qualities they expect to see in the next leader.
“Our new superintendent will need to be a visionary, to be transparent, and to be committed in their support of public education and prioritizing the health and safety of our students and teachers,” one woman said.
“And that particular person, that’s gonna include all of us,” one man said.
Carvalho previously said he hopes his successor is an educator — someone with the courage to withstand political pressure and understand the community’s diversity.
School board members agreed the successor should be an educator and that the process should be transparent.
M-DCPS School Board Vice-Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III addressed the concerns about the timeline.
“With respect to the timeline and one who has gone through a process, I am not in favor of a national search,” he said.
It took many hours for the board to reach a consensus on how to move forward.
At one point, board member Dr. Marta Perez blamed board members for Carvalho leaving.
“I think it is on the board, it is the board’s loss and I will say the board’s fault that we have lost this fabulous superintendent,” she said.
Carvalho seemed to make a confused face as Perez made the comment.
“Any representation that there has been no communication with the superintendent, that is patently false. I’m here to say that for the record,” Gallon said. “In fact, I am on the record when I was asked about the transition of commending and applauding him for the manner in which he communicated with the board regarding this particular situation.”
“I think it’s fair to say that internal and external conditions have shifted significantly over the past few years, and I feel that considering and knowing my leadership style, it is a benefit,” said Carvalho.
“While I agree, and I’ve stated that I don’t think this needs to be an exhaustive process with a national search, I think is doesn’t need to be a rushed process,” said District 5 representative, Christi Fraga.
Eventually the board battled on a time line, but in a 6-3 vote they decided for a seven-day window for applicants to apply.
“I believe I know for a fact that having been in this game for a long time that those individuals are interested and meet the qualifications,” said Carvalho. “They are already engaging in the process. I have no doubt about it.”
“It is going to be quick, it is going to be intense and I think that as long as people know what is happening, and um, obviously they are being transparent, uh, because they know people are going to doubt the system if they feel that it isn’t transparent,” said Karla Hernandez Mats, United teachers of Dade.
Moving forward, board members reassured the public that they are committed to the students’ best interest.
He signed a contract with the Los Angeles Unified school district in December and is set to begin in March.
Carvalho said he wants to leave quickly, but not too quickly where it would jeopardize a smooth transition.
The board doesn’t plans to hire an interim to fill in the vacancy and plans to hire after Superintendent Alberto Carvalho leaves.
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