CCSD deputy to take day off to speak in Texas

MARIETTA - Less than two weeks into the new school year, Cobb Deputy Superintendent Dr. Steven…

Georgia (Aug 2, 2010)MARIETTA - Less than two weeks into the new school year, Cobb Deputy Superintendent Dr. Steven Constantino will be moonlighting in Wichita Falls, Texas, in a speaking engagement for Family Friendly Schools, a company he founded in 1999. He is scheduled to be in Wichita Falls on Aug. 18 to deliver a keynote speech to teachers and staff in the north Texas district as they prepare for a new school year. Cobb's school year starts Aug. 5.


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The Wichita Falls Independent School District is paying Family Friendly Schools $5,500 for Constantino's speech, plus about $1,200 for his expenses, a spokeswoman for that district said.

Constantino will be taking a vacation day from Cobb to make the trip, which is appropriate, Superintendent Fred Sanderson said. The district does not require employees to notify their bosses of their moonlighting jobs, he said.

"Any employee can take a vacation day, and what they do on a vacation is their business," Sanderson said. "If he's doing a speaking engagement and he takes a vacation day, he does the courtesy of telling me, but he doesn't have to."

Marietta City Schools and Cherokee County schools also do not restrict employees from taking time off to do outside work, so long as it doesn't conflict with the interests of the district. Like Cobb, they only require the employee to get prior permission to take the day off - but they do not have to tell the district what they will be doing.

Kurt Schulzke, associate professor of accounting and business law at Kennesaw State University, said moonlighting policies vary widely across corporate America.

"It all depends on the contract and the employee code of conduct or the employee handbook. Every company has its own policy," Schulzke said. "In a situation like the CCSD, there really isn't any good reason why the school system should feel like they ought to be told when someone is going to be giving a speech somewhere - if it isn't on the clock. It keeps these people fresh and allows the school district to keep people who are talented people who the district can't pay what they're worth. That said, there are a lot of people in public school administration who for whatever reason feel like they need to control everything."



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