Taylor returns to B.R. to continue contract negotiations, meetings
Bernard Taylor, who was chosen earlier this month by a unanimous vote of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board as the new district superintendent, returns to Baton Rouge today for a second week of meetings, school tours and contract negotiations. Taylor, who most recently headed the Grand Rapids, Mich., school district, spent much of last week making the rounds and meeting with local business and civic leaders, including Mayor-President Kip Holden and new BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. He also had a ringside seat for a legislative committee hearing that approved the creation of a new breakaway school district for southeast Baton Rouge. Taylor tells Daily Report he is well-versed in the problems facing the EBR Parish School System—particularly some of the fiscal problems—and is ready to address them. "With the budget, it will be my job to ensure that we face the fiscal realities, focus on how we use the funds we have and guarantee transparency as we work to use our people and programs as efficiently as we can," Taylor says. He also says his first impression of the district is that locals don't recognize its many strengths. "We have educational value, and we need to demonstrate that value," he says. While Taylor is boning up on the district and preparing for his new position, he has yet to finalize his contract with the board. A board spokesperson says contract negotiations are going well but are still ongoing, and no start date has been finalized. —Stephanie Riegel
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