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Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 9:52am

Richmond Superintendent Leaving

Dr. Dana Bedden is leaving his job as superintendent of Richmond County schools to take a similar post in Texas.

Bedden said late last week that he will take a job as superintendent of the Irving independent school district, after overseeing the Richmond County school system for three years.

The move comes after a long delay in a contract extension for Bedden. As news of Bedden's candidacy for the job in Texas reached Augusta, some school board members indicated they wanted to give him a raise because they didn't want him to leave. Board members also said that they would otherwise have to fund the search for a new superintendent anyway. But the current economic crisis made any salary increase difficult, financially and politically.

Details on Bedden's departure date have not yet been worked out, but he says he expects to be around long enough to help plan the budget for the next school year.

"I want to make it clear that this decision has nothing to do with conditions in Richmond County or my relationship with the board and staff. It also has nothing to do with money," he said in a written statement. "The two districts are in different financial situations and (I) never expected the RCBOE to match an offer from Texas. I understood that economic conditions made it difficult for the Board of Education to come to an agreement on the terms of a contract extension. Due to the uncertainty, and the lack of consensus of a contract extension, I chose to apply elsewhere."

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