MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Time is coming to an end for Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, and a special meeting is underway Wednesday to discuss his departure.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss matters related to the position of superintendent, including when Carvalho’s last day will be and the search for his replacement.
Carvalho has requested his last day to be Feb. 3, but, if necessary, says he will stay until Feb. 14.
School board members also discussed what needs to be considered when choosing the superintendent’s replacement.
“It’s a process that we, unfortunately, cannot drag out,” School Board member Lubby Navarro said.
“I am not in favor of a national search,” School Board member Steve Gallon III added.
As Carvalho’s time as superintendent comes to an end, he spoke highly of his time with the school district Tuesday.
“The ride of my life, the honor of my life, irreplaceable memories,” he said.
On Dec. 9, the school board was informed of his decision to resign.
Carvalho, who has worked as an educator for 31 years, spent almost half of his career as superintendent in Miami-Dade — a total of 14 years.
He is now headed to Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest school district.
School board members say he leaves a behind a special mark with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
“Everyone is unique. The truth is we will never, ever find another Alberto Carvalho,” Navarro said.
Carvalho said he is expected to start his new job in LA on March 1. The application process to find his replacement is now open.
Job requirements include that applicants must have experience as a classroom teacher, principal and administrator, a masters degree, although a doctorate is preferred and they must understand South Florida’s diverse community and be knowledgeable of local student needs.
While some school board members appear hopeful of hiring a replacement as early as next month, others are concerned the process is moving too fast.
“It’s a sham,” School Board member Marta Perez said.
Perez, who has taken part in the selection process of previous superintendents, alleges some on the board may already have someone in mind.
“The reason the superintendent is leaving is because of the toxic nature of the board,” she said. “The board controls and wants to control the superintendent.”
Others say it’s a process that needs to get going.
“Having an opportunity to open up that window, to see who’s out there ... to see who’s actually interested,” Gallon said. “We could have a number of individuals within this district right now.”
The teachers’ union has already put out a survey trying to get a sense of what type of person they want.
“It is going to be quick. It is going to be intense,” said Karla Hernadez-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade. “And I think that as long as people know what is happening, and obviously they are being transparent, that is going to have to be very necessary.”