School Board Will Pay At Least $18,500 For Superintendent Search Firm

Basic fee is $18,500, but that could double with added expenses.

In a fast meeting April 8, the Board of Education selected Illinois-based ECRA Group to lead a search for the new schools Superintendent.

The company, which has an office in Jersey City, will charge the district an $18,500 basic consultation fee for the search, plus expenses.

Those expenses – which in an extreme case could add another $17,000 to the bill – include:

  • National advertising for the position, which could cost between $1,750 and $4,000.
  • Travel and other expenses for candidates, which could cost between $2,000 and $6,000.
  • Travel costs and other expenses for the consultant, which are estimated to cost $1,500. Consultants are available for community meetings and candidate interviews at $750 per day.
  • Independent background checks, which could cost between $800 and $2,000 per candidate.

The company also offers workshops which range in cost from $3,000 to $5,000, and a “comprehensive first-year support” program – essentially a mentoring program for the new Superintendent – for a $12,500 fee.

ECRA’s Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates Executive Search division will be conducting the search. In its proposal, the firm said the three of the four stages of finding a new Superintendent could take as long as four months. The length of the final phase – called the appointment phase – varies, according to the company.

HYA has worked with about 21 other school districts in the state, including Montgomery, Piscataway and Princeton.

As part of the agreement, HYA said that if the new Superintendent leaves the position for any reason during the first year, or within two years if the same school board is in place, a new search will be conducted free of charge.

The company also agreed to not offer the new Superintendent up to any other districts for which it is working for five years, unless given written permission by the board to do so.

There were no comments or discussion at the meeting, which was held in the district administrative office on Amwell Road.

The board is looking for a new Superintendent after it decided to not offer former Superintendent Edward Seto a new contract when his was due to expire at the end of June. Seto and the board negotiated a buyout of his contract, which was executed on Jan. 31.

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