(WMC-TV) – After a late Tuesday night vote, the unified school board decided Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash will be out after the 2012-2013 school year, and Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Aitken, will keep his job through 2015.
The unified school board meeting lasted well into Tuesday night, wrapping up around 11. In the end, the board moved forward with their search for a new superintendent.
Parents and teachers showed up at the meeting in support of Dr. Aitken, saying he is qualified to lead the merged school district.
But questions are swirling if Dr. Aitken is ready to handle such a large district consisting mainly of schools in the urban areas of Memphis.
Dr. Aitken says he is ready, "Part of leadership is inspiring people and getting right people in place around you that can deal with things. So that's gotta be part of the agenda. We're not there yet, sure I feel like I am, but I understand there's a lot of processes we have to go thru before we get there."
Dr. Kriner Cash says he will have to weigh his options on what's next for him and hinted that he may consider breaking his contract before his term is up.
He says for now he's not going anywhere because there's a lot of work to be done.
Cash criticized the board, saying a vote this early to not renew his contract contradicts what should happen in an open and transparent search for the next superintendent.
After the meeting, Dr. Cash said that even though he's disappointed in the contract vote MCS remains his number one priority. "Now I will make the decision I need to make for the interest of my career and my future, but making sure the district is in good shape. The best shape it can be."
A motion that would've shifted MCS operations to county schools, giving administrative authority to John Aitken, was sent back to committee.
Board members have agreed to discuss exactly when the superintendent's search will begin. They will also have to consider that the search could cost up to a million dollars.