The Jefferson Parish School Board has called a special meeting Thursday to begin the process of removing Superintendent Isaac Joseph, board President Mark Morgan confirmed Tuesday.
The agenda for Thursday's meeting lists only so-called "first readings," which are typically required for items that will be discussed and voted on at a subsequent meeting, in this case the one scheduled for Jan. 17.
Several board members said last month that Joseph was unlikely to have his contract renewed when it expires at the end of June.
On Tuesday, Morgan said that board members felt it was important to get a new superintendent in place as soon as possible. "To have a new superintendent in place for the next school year, that process needs to start now," he said.
Joseph said Tuesday that he knew the first readings would be "centered" on his contract. He also said he had been offered a buyout, but that he felt obligated to the school system and wanted to serve until the end of his contract.
"I want to earn my money," he said.
Joseph's relationship with board members has been souring for some time. When school performance scores were released in November, the system received a C.
Also in the fall, board member Cedric Floyd — who had been one of Joseph's chief proponents when he was appointed in 2015 — convinced the board to hire an outside attorney to investigate what Floyd called "violations of board policy and state law" on Joseph's part.
Those charges have never been made public, and the attorney's report on the investigation has not yet been presented to the board, though it was due before Jan. 1.
Then, in November and December, as speculation about Joseph's future with the system began to swirl, a letter accusing then-board President Melinda Doucet of racism for not supporting Joseph was faxed to the School Board office. Joseph was later forced to issue a statement saying he had never seen Doucet act in a racist way.
But the incident prompted several board members to go public with their support for replacing Joseph.