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Bearden gets top job with Rome City Schools

The second time around for Fayette County School Superintendent Jeff Bearden was a charm. Bearden has been hired to be the new superintendent at Rome City Schools in Floyd County.

The Rome City Schools Board of Education on Wednesday named Bearden to the school system’s top job, according to the Rome News-Tribune. The school board vote was unanimous.

Bearden had been one of two finalists for the job. He was also a finalist for the superintendent’s job with the Floyd County School System.

Bearden will end his two-year stay in Fayette County on Dec. 31 and, according to reports, will take the reins in Rome beginning Jan. 15.



Let me see if I understand this. Dr. Bearden has a new job that begins in January, but he will still receive his salary from Fayette County Schools for next year.

This is crazy. Now that he has secured a position,shouldn't give back his salary for next year? Is he just a thief? I guess we will find out if he has any morals or not.

I don't think that's accurate.

When you are paid a serverance package to leave, you take the money and leave!
The only way to find out is to ask, but there is a confidentiality agreement surrounding this affair.

Meanwhile, its water under the bridge...enough with the accusations...but calling someone a thief for accepting a serverance package (or a "mutually agreed upon separation") is not accurate or fair!

There is too much of that going around (finger pointing & accusations) in Fayette!

Bearden has claimed to be concerned about the students and school employees in Fayette County. Yet, he has spearheaded salary and benefit cuts. He is leaving the school district as it faces a $20 million shortfall, partly because he delayed tough decisions (like closing schools).

You think it is acceptable (under these circumstances) for him to walk away with over $150,000 of taxpayer money??? He is such a hypocrite. He thinks it is fine to cut pay for teachers, bus drivers, and secretaries, but wants to leave with a "golden parachute."

I think it is very clear that Jeff Bearden has far more concern for Jeff Bearden than about anyone or anything else. Name one other person who has left the school system with a severance package. Name one teacher, one bus driver, one secretary, or one other administator that has received this treatment. Fayette County schools employs more people than any other entity in this county. Name one person who has received the special treatment Bearden managed to negotiate for himself (with the approval of 4 of the 5 incompetent board members). WE taxpayers even had to pay the fees to the attorney he hired to arrange such a deal.

The money he is pocketing should used to educate students and to pay WORKING employees. We should NOT be paying someone who won't be working. You say it is "water under the bridge". Not so! This travesty can be corrected. Now that he has a job, he needs to give the money back to the people who he has claimed he cares about (the students, the employees, the citizens of this county). Doing so would require much moral courage. Is he a man of ethics or not? His actions soundly answer that question.

We are all frustrated with the situation, but this was a severance package with no stipulations. This is normal operating procedure for all school superintendents.

The job is difficult when you are hired and fired on the whim of elected officials each with their own political agendas.

Your anger is justified but misguided. There were others who approve budgets presented. No one wanted to make cuts and lose their elected position by being proposing responsible cuts

Jeff Bearden applied for a superintendent's job in Floyd County BEFORE he ever negotiated what you have termed as a "severanace package". He withheld this information from some of the school board members. Plain fact - he was trying to leave Fayette County, though he had more than 2 years remaining on his contract.

You think this is the case of a victimized superintendent? Hardly! It is a tragic instance in which the students, employees, and citizens of Fayette County have been mugged and robbed. But, it CAN be corrected. Jeff Bearden needs to return the money to the rightful owners (particularly, now that he has obtained a job paying more than ANY of the hundeds of Fayette County school employees). While you have called me misguided, you are clearly, very clearly, misinformed about the facts of this matter.

Please enlighten me on my misunderstanding.

You keep repeating the same claim over and over and I explained why I feel you need to revisit your thought.
Perhaps you are a bit too close to the situation. Do you or a relative happen to be one of the employees whose salary was adjusted backwards?

Let me explain something, we all, myself included took painful paycuts due to the economy. This has happened in the public and private sector. We all deal with it.

So what if the man applied for a new job before he negotiated his severance package. It's called leverage honey, and leverage is used every day in society. He took a risk doing this and he was rewarded. If the board wanted him to stay, they could have offered him double the salary. It works both ways. And yes, some supt, make double what Bearden does. They could have also fired him at any time with or without cause. That's why superintendents have contracts with clauses in their contracts. A supt is the day to day manager of the school system but he reports to a board you elected, if you voted. I have an asinine suggestion, why don't you start a petition asking the board to return their salary until the costs are paid back.

You're peeing into the wind if you think going after Mr. Bearden to return the money is going to solve the problem. He is not the right target. (School Board). You can rant and rave and complain all day about the same point, but after a while even your husband will start to tune you out.

Nail meet hammer.

SPQR's picture

May I suggest "Boardwalk Empire" as a tutorial on the real world. Bearden is looking out for himself. If he's smarter than the rubes on the Fayette BOE so be it.

well said!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Not the best example for a superintendent and not a problem-solver at all, but he sure was paying attention when the little mayor of Peachtree City flim-flammed the taxpayers out of $12,000. Bearden followed that same play book - even down to getting the taxpayers to pay for his attorney - and ran it past a compliant school board majority right before the 2 hausfraus lost their voting power. His one year salary is much more impressive than da mayor's, but other than that, it looks like the same game.

Live free or die!

IF he's getting something that was not agreed to, then we have a problem. I seriously doubt that is the case.

I think you're right--if there's anger out there, it should be directed toward BOE members, not Bearden.

Let's face it. This man has screwed us over royally. Now he will have a new position paying as much if not more than he made here, and will still get one more years pay and benefits from Fayette County Board of Education. I don't know how he can live with himself, and how the City of Rome Board of Education could decide to give him this postion. In a couple of years when he pulls the same thing on them that he did Fayette county, we will see what they have to say then.
FCBOE board members should hang their head in shame for what they have done too. Three of them knew about this man's deceit and were even listed as references on his application to the City of Rome.
As a FCBOE employee, I ask this question: What has the present board members or Dr Bearden done to make our school system better than what it was over the last couple of years? We have to pay Bearden approximately $200,000 and we are struggling to balance our budget. Let's see what our board members do moving forward. And who will be the next superintendent.

It's not like they were p'ing away their own money, after all it's just taxpayer money and everyone knows that is free.....right?????

We have allowed them to be completely careless in the past why would this cluster-f.-mess be any different then any other decision they have come up with in the last 10years?

Please email me at dienhartforptc@google .com - I'd like to speak with you on some things.

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