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The Daily Churn: Wednesday

What’s churning:

State Education Commissioner Dwight Jones meets the public in Las Vegas today as he explores the top schools job there. He and his competition – Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa – will be the guests at two 90-minute community forums. Thursday, Jones and Hinojosa begin their interviews with Clark County, Nev. school board members. A decision is expected by mid-October.

As we noted Tuesday, a third finalist for the job, Florida’s James Browder, has dropped out. That, coupled with concerns about Jones’ lack of experience running a big-city district and Hinojosa’s financial record in Dallas, could prompt Vegas board members to ask their search firm to produce a third candidate, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Independent School District will consider offering Hinojosa a raise or contract extension in an effort to keep him, the Dallas Morning News reported this morning. The idea reportedly is not unanimously popular among board members, who will discuss it in a closed-door meeting tomorrow. Will Colorado make similar efforts to keep Jones?

The Colorado Legacy Foundation has named Stephanie Wasserman as director of its health and wellness programs, which provide resources to schools on nutrition, health education, physical activity, school health clinics, bullying prevention and employee wellness. Wasserman has been director of community and school-based programs fro the Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics and is board vice president of the Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care.

What’s on tap:

The Higher Education Strategic Planning Steering Committee convenes at 10 a.m. to do some further refinement on its draft plan. The panel is shopping its ideas around in a series of public meetings, the next of which is Sept. 29 at Mesa State College in Grand Junction. It’s final report to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and the governor is due Nov. 4.

The first public hearing, Sept. 14 in Pueblo, played to a largely sympathetic audience of some three-dozen local civic leaders and CSU-Pueblo staff. The session’s mood was somewhat downbeat, however, with several speakers bemoaning low public awareness of higher ed’s problems.

Read the current draft of the plan here, and download the slide presentation that panel members are using on their road show.

The state Capital Construction Assistance Board meets from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the first-floor board room at 201 E. Colfax Ave. The board administers the Build Excellent Schools Today program (agenda).

The Mesa State College trustees meet at 10 a.m. in the board room on campus in Grand Junction (agenda).

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