Interim Superintendent: Dallas Dance consultant hire was ‘insurance policy’

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Interim Superintendent for Richmond Public Schools said he hired Dallas Dance, the former Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools, as a consultant as an "insurance policy" due to his lack of experience on the academic side of school leadership.

"Bringing Dallas on in the way that we did allowed me to fill that gap, and ensure that I had the resources for maybe, whatever I didn't know that was going to be needed to open the school," Interim Superintendent Tommy Kranz said.

Some school board members and parents raised questions about the hiring of Dance, which cost the school system $25,000 over two months.

Tommy Kranz

"I'd like to know what it was for, I mean it's all said and done but it still added up to $25,000 that could have gone to something else," RPS parent Cindy Anderson said.

Dance's name was tossed around a few months ago as a possible candidate for Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools.

But, last Friday, the Baltimore Sun published an article alleging Maryland prosecutors are investigating Dance and his relationship with a company that did business with the school system.

While it's unclear if Dance was a legitimate candidate in Richmond, we know he worked as a consultant for RPS for two months this year, and he received $25,000 for his work, according to Kenita Bowers, a spokesperson for RPS.

Dallas Dance

Richmond School Board member Liz Doerr said she had no idea the administration hired Dance as a consultant.

"I found out about it after the contract was signed and not in a typical, traditional way," Doerr said.

Kranz told CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit that "there was no intent to mislead anyone, no intent of anything sinister in bringing Dallas on board. Dallas was simply there to fill what was potentially a need that i needed on that academic on just other general superintendent needs."

"I wish maybe we had done some of our communication better, which we normally do...I think in light of the transition we were in and the timing of it, it got a little away from us," Kranz added.

Doerr now plans to make a formal request to the School Board to discuss how the board can have more oversight of consulting contracts in the future.

Dallas Dance

"I would have cautioned against that contract had I had the opportunity to weigh in," Doerr said.

Bowers said the superintendent has the authority to sign consulting contracts up to $250,000 without informing the board.

She also said Dance provided leadership and instructional advice to interim superintendent Tommy Kranz to help ensure a smooth opening of schools.

Kranz said after two months he decided he no longer needed Dance's services and "discontinued the arrangement."