Two Seattle School Board members today announced that they would like to extend interim Superintendent Larry Nyland’s contract by one year instead of two.
Board President Sharon Peaslee previously suggested forgoing a search to replace former Superintendent Jose Banda, and simply extend Nyland’s contract at least through June 2017. That idea has been criticized by some parents and activists who objected to the fact that Peaslee’s proposal, made public the day before Thanksgiving, didn’t give the public enough time to weigh in.
Peaslee first proposed a vote for Wednesday’s board meeting, but then delayed it for a week — until Dec. 10 — to allow more public comment.
Now the board will discuss that proposal, as well as an amendment filed Wednesday by board members Sue Peters and Betty Patu. Even with the delay, they said Peaslee’s proposal does not fulfill the intent of the board’s policies on community engagement, which call for meaningful family involvement and transparent communication. They say their amendment is a compromise that would give the district stable leadership as well as a chance for more public input.
Under their plan, the board would extend Nyland’s contract through June 2016 — one year beyond when his current contract runs out. The board would review his performance next fall and decide then whether to extend it again.
Nyland, a Seattle native, came out of retirement to lead Seattle Public Schools in August after Banda left to run the Sacramento City Unified School District. Nyland previously served as superintendent in the Marysville School District for nine years.
Peaslee’s motion and the compromise amendment are slated to be discussed at today’s board meeting, which begins at 4:15 p.m. at the district headquarters, 2445 3rd Ave. S in Seattle. You can see the full agenda here or watch the meeting streaming live.