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Nonprofit That Hired Away Superintendent Has Contract With FCPS

by Karen Goff — September 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm 14 Comments

Karen Garza/FCPSFairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza announced on Monday she would leave the school system in December for a new job as President and Chief Executive Officer of Battelle for Kids (BFK), an education nonprofit in Columbus, Ohio.

While Garza will be new to Battelle for Kids, the organization is not new to FCPS. Battelle for Kids has been providing services to the school system since last year.

Battelle for Kids signed a five-year contract with FCPS in April 2015 to provide professional development and school improvement practices for FCPS’ Department of Instructional Services.

FCPS will pay Battelle for Kids $279,950 under the terms of the contract. The majority of that sum ($224,000) was set to be paid in Year 1 as Battelle for Kids worked with 12 underperforming schools. The contract does not identify which schools.

According to FCPS documents “BFK will implement school improvement practices of six schools identified as high needs during the 2015-2016 school year (Work Stream 1), and six additional schools during the 2016-2017 school year (Work Stream 2).”

“Additionally, BFK will strategically build the capacity of a core team of district personnel as Rounds Facilitators, and will provide turnaround leadership development for the administrators of these
schools. As an extra benefit, BFK will provide access to 15 online courses on Formative Instructional Practices (FIP) to the leaders and teachers at the six campuses during the 2015-2016 school year.”

BFK says through their process, schools learn what is going well, what is not working and how to improve it. and instill “a culture of learning and self-reflection.”

Under FCPS rules, BFK’s history does not appear to be a conflict of interest because Garza was not directly involved in awarding the contract.

She told The Washington Post on Monday she was made aware of the BFK job when contacted by a recruiter this summer.

Garza, who came from Texas to lead FCPS in 2013, signed a four-year contract extension in July. The extension increased her salary by 3 percent, to $300,000.

  • Mike M

    This provides an interesting peak at how our $2B+ get allocated.

  • Ming the Merciless

    I liked her other hairdo better.

  • Scout

    Shocked – I am totally shocked – you mean another revolving door – the would be funny if weren’t so totally stereotypical. Let’s defeat the meals tax – in the name of Garza – call it the Garza tax

  • One Really

    I love this line.
    “BFK says through their process, schools learn what is going well, what is not working and how to improve it. and instill “a culture of learning and self-reflection.”
    It’s call hard work and figuring it out. They don’t have magic sauce or a special processes. It’s marketing for “just pay me to do what you guys should be doing..”

  • Chuck Morningwood

    You know, when I cancel my cellphone contract, I have to pay an ETF. I wonder whether Garza also has an ETF.

  • EliteinReston

    The timing of Garza’s departure is curious. She was one of the advocates for the meals tax. I don’t get why she and Battelle couldn’t have waited seven weeks until the fate of the meals tax was known before making the announcement. If the leader of the school system is giving up on Fairfax, why should voters support the system with a higher tax?

    • Mike M

      She was somewhat like a seagull. Shew flew in, flapped her wings and squawked a lot, s-ed on everything, then departed. She’d make a great consultant.

      But who sees any value in folks like this?

      • EliteinReston

        Birds migrate for an ample food supply.

  • Guest

    Agreed, typical fiscally wasteful registered Republican.

  • RoadApples

    Curious ?:
    When employed by a ‘Nonprofit’:
    Are salaries/benefits/perks kept to the bare minimum (possibly in the $75K salary portion a year range for Garza’s services) to coincide with the perception of a non-capitalist (nonprofit) entity.

  • Ron Johnson

    Now they won’t need the meals tax since her salary will not be paid.

  • Ron Johnson

    She probably left mad because there weren’t any all gender bathrooms in the office building.

  • Guest

    School officials don’t run on a party ticket, but Karen Garza is a Texas Republican. She ran up the flag in Lubbock and brought much the same approach to Fairfax County.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/incoming-fairfax-superintendent-karen-garza-known-for-student-centric-approach/2013/04/11/cfda2682-a2d5-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html

    As you note, self-serving and harmful. Schools love to watch her leave. I hope Columbus is ready for it.

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