Fulton Board of Ed Rejects Candidate for Key Administrative Position

The Fulton Board of Education took the highly unusual step of rejecting a candidate for an important second-tier administrative job this week.

The candidate was the nominee selected by the administration for the post of Director of Universal Pre-K and Literacy.

The vote on the appointment was 3-3, with one board member abstaining.  The appointment failed for lack of a majority vote in favor.

Voting against the appointment were members Brian Hotaling, David Carvey and Dan Pawlewicz.  Voting in favor were Fred Cavalier, David Cordone and Barbara Hubbard.  Rosemary Occhino abstained.

There was no discussion by board members about the issues that led to their votes.

A no vote is rare on the Fulton Board of Education, particularly on the personnel section of each meeting’s agenda.  A no vote on a key appointment is highly unusual.  Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch thought it had been at least five years since the last rejection of a candidate for a top position.

“We go back and talk,” he said about what happens next.  The district could readvertise the position, could go back to the finalists for the job or even could reconsider the rejected candidate.

He said the position was discussed during the closed-door executive session that preceded the board meeting.

The Director of Universal Pre-K and Literacy position was eliminated in 2010 during a wave of heavy budget cuts.  Some changes in the way the federal government allows school districts to spend some federal funds allowed the district to consider bringing back the position.

“Since 2010, the demands have increased for the position,” Lynch explained.  He said that the district would not be as willing to give up the position if deep budget cuts are required in the future.  “A lot more instructional support is needed,” he said.