SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The South Orange Maplewood Board of Education rejected three proposals from firms that had sought to conduct the district’s search for a new superintendent during a special meeting on Tuesday, May 29.

The board voted, 5-0, to re-advertise the request for proposals, citing a need to “revise the specifications,” but declined to provide further details on what specifications would be revised.

The resolution passed Tuesday indicated that six firms had requested information for the bidding process, but only three of them submitted formal proposals.

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The rejected firms included Hazard Young Attea Associates of Schaumburg, IL; Ray and Associates Inc. of Cedar Rapids, IA; and SLF Consulting of Manassas, VA.

It did not include Atlantic Research Partners of Chicago, which had been involved in the hiring of former Superintendent John Ramos, who resigned last year. Ramos stepped down in August 2017 after just two years on the job. The board then hired interim Superintendent Thomas Ficarra.

District spokeswoman Suzanne Turner said via email that the revised specifications would include changing “the scoring criteria which will be used to select the consultant” and “clarified language in a few areas, including requiring input from additional stakeholders and updating timelines.”

District officials said the rejections and repeating the proposal process was not expected to significantly delay the final hiring of a new superintendent.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article did not identify the search firms.

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