JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — While Duval County Public Schools searches for a new long-term superintendent, the Jacksonville NAACP chapter asks for transparency.
The NAACP sent a letter to the school board asking for a fair hiring process.
Action News Jax spoke with Isaiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville NAACP. He said their letter addressing the hiring process for the superintendent is based on ensuring that the right leader is hired for the school district through a transparent and public vetting process.
“In reading the Tampa Bay story, as it relates to the former superintendent down in Clay County, that gave us some degree of concern,” Rumlin said.
Action News Jax reported earlier this month when Addison Davis resigned as superintendent of Hillsborough County school district. He was previously superintendent in Clay County from 2016 to 2020. And before that, he worked in the Duval County school district for 18 years.
Davis told a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times he did not “discount the idea that someone might offer him the Duval County superintendent job.”
“We just don’t know how to interpret that, may have just been bad optics that day, but it gave the appearance that something had already happened,” Rumlin said.
Rumlin and the local NAACP, who were supporters of former superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, wrote a letter to the school board asking for an inclusive and equitable search for a new superintendent, adding that predetermining the next leader would make the process “merely a façade,” a “mere formality,” and that it would “squander valuable resources and taxpayer dollars.”
“We are going to do is hold the school board accountable, and that is all we can do to ensure that they are following the proper procedure in hiring this new person,” Rumlin said.
Rumlins said that he spoke with DCPS school board chairman, Dr. Kelly Coker on Wednesday morning, and she assured him that there would be transparency and community involvement during the hiring process for a new superintendent.
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Coker issued the following statement:
“I am aware of the misinformation that has been circulating about this process, so I am grateful for the opportunity to share the facts. I have also had recent conversations directly with NAACP leadership to address their concerns.
“First, let me emphasize that this search is in its earliest stage. No candidates have been identified, and no interviews have taken place.
“Second, the only decision that has been made at this stage is in selecting the Florida School Boards Association as the firm to conduct a national search. That contract was recently completed and is attached.
“Third, I think this school board’s history of engaging the public in critical decisions is well established, and that is fully our intent with this national search.
“The board is holding a workshop with our search consultant on July 12 at 9 a.m. to discuss our next steps. One topic of discussion will be how we engage the community in this process. I encourage everyone to stay informed by visiting our Superintendent Search webpage.”
Here’s the full letter written to DCPS from the NAACP in Jacksonville: