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Now that it’s official that Seattle schools superintendent José Banda is leaving for a job in California, the Seattle School Board is wasting no time filling the vacancy.

The board planned to name an interim superintendent at a meeting Friday.

As expected, the Sacramento City Unified School District’s board hired Banda as its superintendent at a meeting Thursday night.

Since Banda announced June 20 that he was the sole finalist for that job, the Seattle School Board has been meeting behind closed doors to discuss qualifications and candidates for an interim superintendent while it searches for a permanent one.

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The interim hire will start work immediately and continue in the job through June 2015. That person could also apply for the permanent job, according to the district.

The board anticipates taking several months to find a new superintendent before making a decision in April or May.

The search that resulted in hiring Banda two years ago cost $85,000, according to the district.

Banda, who previously was superintendent of the Anaheim (Calif.) City School District, an elementary school-only district about half the size of Seattle, was Seattle’s fifth schools chief in a decade.

Banda, 57, said he’s taking the Sacramento job in a smaller district mainly because he wants to be closer to his family.

He has also said that actively rejoining the California pension system where he’s already put in 32 years as a teacher and administrator is a smart move given recent pension-reform efforts in the state that could affect his retirement.

The Seattle board meeting will begin at 4:15 p.m. Friday in the John Stanford Center auditorium.

John Higgins: 206-464-3145 or On Twitter @jhigginsST

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