Officials with Jefferson County Public Schools will interview candidates for four new central administration positions soon. The new hires are a response to recommendations that JCPS eliminate positions and streamline communication to Superintendent Donna Hargens.
“We’re reviewing applications and resumes and January we’ll start the interviewing process,” Hargens said.
The jobs became available after an outside auditing firm recommended JCPS organize its central office more efficiently. The audit was done at the request of the district. Phi Delta Kappa International has since provided a report with 18 recommendations to create a more diverse and qualified JCPS central administration staff.
Auditors recommended the district consider hiring from outside the district after finding nearly 99 percent of central administration hired in the past two years came from within JCPS. That number should be closer to 66 percent, said auditor Dr. William Poston.
Hargens has yet to make fundamental changes to the district’s hiring process, but the district has taken steps to hire from a wider pool, she said.
“Those are things that are in process right now. They are nationally advertised. So we’re working through the process to get those things in place,” said Hargens.
Any changes to the district’s policies and protocols as a result of the audit must come in the form of recommendations from Hargens to the school board. Board chair Steve Imhoff said, speaking for himself, the board should adopt every one of the agency’s recommendations.
A total of five new central administration positions total around $500,000 dollars and they replace the 16 positions that currently report to the superintendent. The district has frozen nearly 90 administration jobs since Hargens took lead. When positions reopen, the most qualified candidates will be hired, she said.
The audit also showed a majority of JCPS staff feel that the hiring process has not been effective. The report found that several JCPS administration employees are paid above the national average.
The full audit is expected next month.