GRPS Board Discusses Future of Grand Rapids Superintendent Bernard Taylor, Closed Door Sessions Last For More Than Nine Hours

ClevelandSyracuseHuman Interest

The Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education met in closed session at 3:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the status of Supintendent Bernard Taylor.  It was a meeting that went until around 1:15 the next morning, with only a short break for public comment.

Taylor has interviewed and been a finalist for superintendent positions recently in Syracuse, NY, and Cleveland, OH. He was not hired in either case.  That leaves some community members concerned about Taylor's committment to the district, a committment he's confirmed after being turned down for the Syracuse position. 

The agenda for the meeting included items labeled "Legal Opinion Relating to Superintendent’s Contract" and "Superintendent's Evaluation."  Board members say Taylor was present for his evaluation discussion. 

A GRPS spokesman says Taylor is on a rolling contract, meaning as long as a he receives a positive perfomance review, his contract continues for an additional year.  Basically, the board would have to buy Taylor out for a full five years, amounting to around $1 million.  

After the closed session, the board allowed for public comment time.  That was then followed by a call for a second closed session.  That session lasted until around 1:15 a.m.  

GRPS Board President Senita Lenear called the meeting "very productive," but said conversations are continuing and no decisions have been made.  She did not reveal the exact discussions in the meeting, citing the closed door policy.

She added that they were "hopeful" for some sort of action on Dr. Taylor's evaluation during their June 20th meeting.

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