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Pittsburgh Public Schools to hire firm next month to begin national superintendent search

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board announced Thursday that it will hire a search firm next month to conduct a national search for its next district leader.

The board has not previously said whether the search would be national. In a release, board president Sala Udin said that a nationwide effort will give the board the opportunity to “determine the ideal type of leadership we need to guide the district into the future.”

The district is in a tough spot: Staff morale is low, enrollment continues to decline and district finances are teetering.

Udin said in the release that the community will play a role in the process to identify “the traits needed in a leader that will best serve PPS students, educators and the community.” Specific details on community input will be announced once a firm is hired, according to the release.

The request for proposals was sent to pre-selected firms, which have been asked to submit “substantially detailed proposals,” to be evaluated by the board. The board expects to vote on hiring a firm March 23.

According to the release, the candidate pool will remain confidential until the final selection is announced.

Interim superintendent Wayne Walters will serve in that role through Sept. 30, or until a permanent superintendent is selected. Walters took over at the beginning of the school year after former Superintendent Anthony Hamlet left the job. A state investigation found that Hamlet violated the state’s ethics law. A few days after its release, he announced he would leave the district to give it the opportunity to move on without distractions.