The San Diego Unified school board took no action today in a closed meeting on the district’s future after Terry Grier takes a job in Houston.

Grier is now locked in a 21-day waiting period under Texas law before he can be formally offered a new contract, and once he accepts a new job he must give San Diego Unified 30 days of warning before leaving the district. However, school board President Shelia Jackson said that it was possible for the board and Grier to renegotiate his contract to allow him to leave earlier or arrange for him to stay longer.

“September is a crucial time in the school year,” Jackson said. “It might not be in our best interests to say, ‘OK, you want him now.’”

Jackson said the board had not, as a group, pushed for Grier to stay, as a group of parents and community leaders is now urging him to do, and declined to comment on whether she personally thought that he should stay. Board member Katherine Nakamura, a fervent supporter of Grier and a backer of the petition to keep Grier, said the meeting gave them a chance for an honest conversation that was more productive than she had anticipated. Laughter could be heard repeatedly outside the closed room.

“I wish we’d had it a month or two ago,” she said.

Nakamura added that the school board was on the same page on the issue of keeping together what she dubbed the “Fantasy Team” of administrators that Grier assembled as his top school chiefs. And she hinted that the board had talked about complaints that they had micromanaged Grier out of his job.

“It’s important that we let the next superintendent be the superintendent,” she said.


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