Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vitti Asks Board to OK 3 New Positions; Money Will Come from Existing Jobs, Schools Chief Says

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vitti Asks Board to OK 3 New Positions; Money Will Come from Existing Jobs, Schools Chief Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Topher Sanders

Duval County schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti plans to complete Phase One of his reorganization plan Monday that includes the creation of three administrative positions.

Vitti stressed to School Board members last month that these positions will be cost neutral because he will use money from existing positions.

The positions Vitti wants to create, with their approximate salaries, are:

- Chief of public relations and marketing, $110,000.

- Chief of intergovernmental affairs and community outreach, $110,000.

- Executive director of instructional programs, $88,000.

At this time, he also wants to fill a vacant position, director of marketing, at an approximate salary of $76,000.

The district's director of communications, Jill Johnson, will become the chief of public relations and marketing. Her current salary is $98,000. Johnson said the district hasn't determined how much of a raise she'll get or who will fill the other new positions.

The board will vote on the positions Monday. At least one board member has questioned the moves.

"This looks top-heavy; it's a whole lot of chiefs," Connie Hall said. "And that's going to generate high salaries."

Hall, one of the board's four new members, said she wanted to make sure the district wasn't depriving schools of needed positions to fill top administrative positions.

If the board approves Vitti's recommendations Monday, Vitti will have 10 cabinet-level positions that will report directly to him, compared with 12 for his predecessor, Ed Pratt-Dannals.

Vitti told the board in December that the only new positions he's bringing to the system are the public relations and marketing chief, the intergovernmental affairs chief and the executive director of instruction.

He estimates that the new positions' salaries will total $384,000. He said he is using money from six other positions to free up more than $390,000 to pay for his changes.

The unfilled positions Vitti will use to pay for his new ones are two academic coaches, an executive director position in academic services, a specialist in academic services, a supervisor and Johnson's current position. …

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