The Metro Nashville Board of Education is set to consider giving Director of Schools Jesse Register a three-year contract extension, which would make him the district’s superintendent through 2015.
The proposal, expected to come at the May 24 school board meeting, will come from board member Anna Shepherd, who provided notice of those intentions at last week’s meeting. Register is currently under contract through June 2012. If approved, Register would continue to earn $250,000 annually.
Register, the 63-year-old former Chattanooga superintendent hired in 2009 to replace former full-time director Pedro Garcia, has received generally high marks from Nashville’s education community during his two-plus years on the job.
Nonetheless, the district is finding it a challenge to meet federal No Child Left Behind benchmarks, avoiding repercussions this past year only because of an exception granted by the state prompted by last May’s flood.
Upon taking over the struggling school district, Register said it would take five years to engineer a true district-wide turnaround, which he hopes to see happen through his reform effort dubbed “MNPS Achieves.”
Months after Register accepted the position, he avoided what some thought was destined to be a mayoral takeover of the system after the district unexpectedly met benchmarks during his initial year.
Register has had to deal with consecutive tight budget cycles, forcing his hand last year in making a controversial decision to outsource school custodians to the private sector.
For the next fiscal year, Mayor Karl Dean has agreed to fully fund the school board’s requested $670.5 million budget by tapping the city’s rainy day funds.