APS awards no-bid consulting contract to Erroll Davis’ right-hand man

Associate Superintendent Steve Smith will receive a 6-month, $114,300 consulting contract starting immediately after his June 30 resignation from APS.

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Associate Superintendent Steve Smith will receive a 6-month, $114,300 consulting contract starting immediately after his June 30 resignation from APS.

With little advance notice and no public discussion, the Atlanta school board awarded a no-bid consulting contract to outgoing Superintendent Erroll Davis’ right-hand man.

Davis will retire next month before the district’s new superintendent, Meria Carstarphen, takes office.

At their June 2 board meeting, the Atlanta Public Schools board of education awarded Associate Superintendent Steve Smith a 6-month, $114,300 consulting contract starting immediately after Smith's June 30 resignation from APS. As an APS employee, Smith earns about $211,000 a year.

As a consultant, Smith will “support the effective and efficient transition of Atlanta Public Schools” from the Davis administration to the new administration, according to the contract.

He’ll also “be available to work as needed” with the board of education and the new administration.

Because the contract is a “sole source” contract — meaning the district administration determined only person or company is able to provide the services required — it did not have to go through a public bidding process.

Smith will be paid from the district's general fund — not from private funds raised to support the transition from one superintendent to the next.

Board Chairman Courtney English said he thought the contract was approved “within the bounds of board policy and law.”

“I think we can always improve upon our processes and I think we will continue to do that,” he said.