CMS to spend up to $56,500 on search

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board plans to spend $56,500 on its search for a new superintendent, using the Illinois-based PROACT Search.

The board also agreed to get UNC Charlotte to coordinate sessions on what the public wants from the new leader. The university has agreed to handle that for free, board member Richard McElrath said.

The board released an outline of the search agreement, without the firm's name. It calls for $34,500 in fees, plus up to $15,000 in expenses and a $7,000 advertising budget.

The CMS arrangement is cheaper than the $70,000 the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority agreed this week to pay a search firm, Heidrick & Struggles, to find a new chief executive.

CMS, which educates about 138,000 students and has 19,000 employees, is seeking a successor to Peter Gorman, who resigned in June after five years as superintendent. The board plans to identify finalists after the November school board election and hire someone by early spring.

PROACT (, founded in 1997, is an employee-owned company that specializes in finding superintendents and other education executives.

It has offices in several cities and has handled superintendent searches for such large districts as Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Memphis, Indianapolis and New Orleans.