When the Detroit school board on Thursday scheduled a special meeting for next week, it seemed like a sign that a vote for superintendent was near.
But late Friday, the board canceled the special Monday meeting, signaling that it is unlikely to make a final decision then — even though Tuesday marks its legal deadline to choose a schools chief.
Members still plan to meet on Tuesday but have pushed off the major discussion about who will lead the district. Later Friday, the special board meeting to discussion the superintendent candidates was rescheduled for Thursday, April 13.
Two finalists are vying for the district’s top position: Jacksonville, Florida, schools chief Nikolai Vitti and Derrick Coleman, who runs the suburban Detroit district of River Rouge. Each spent a day interviewing in the city recently.
The schedule change comes as board members face pressure to slow the search down and consider other candidates, including interim superintendent Alycia Meriweather. Both of the city’s leading newspapers this week called on the board to reopen the search, and Dan Gilbert, the businessman and philanthropist who is heavily involved in Detroit issues, joined the chorus supporting Meriweather with a tweet on Friday.
How's it possible DPS interim superindendent Alycia Meriweather isn't a finalist in school board's search for a permanent superindendent?SMH
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) April 7, 2017
Board member Lamar Lemmons told Chalkbeat that the board wanted more time after visiting River Rouge. That visit is scheduled for Monday.