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April 5, 2013

NASH: Are we getting our money’s worth?

Over the last couple of weeks it has come to light that once again New Albany-Floyd County School Corp. superintendent was looking for a better job. During his relatively short tenure, Dr. Bruce Hibbard has on multiple occasions applied for jobs other than the one he currently has. Since his arrival here in 2009, it has become an all too familiar pattern.  

Many people have said that if he is not happy here, maybe it’s time for him to go. It was announced this week that he was no longer a candidate for the Carmel-Clay Schools job. 

The reason that was given for his interest in the new position was that it would bring him closer to members of his family who live near Indianapolis. I can understand this thought process having made decisions in my life based on a similar premise. The only problem with this scenario is that the last time he was a candidate for a job, it was in Florida, a considerable distance from the Indianapolis area.  I believe that this job search, as well as nearly every other thing he has done, has been motivated by money.

It was late fall in 2010 when the board of school trustees couldn’t give the superintendent a raise fast enough. They were saying things like he was gotten on the ‘cheap’ and deserved a raise or he would find another job that would pay him what he was worth. A vocal group assembled at the meeting where the raise was to be discussed, and it was clear that it wasn’t going to be a very popular decision.

 At that meeting Dr. Hibbard announced he would not accept a raise but the school board members were determined to make sure he would soon make more money. It is true that test scores and graduation rates have improved since Dr. Hibbard came to our town and the budget situation has improved, but at what cost? Neighborhood schools have been closed, art and music programs are being cut and elementary athletics have been eliminated.

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