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School workforce downsizing talk delayed

Halifax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon presented a policy change in professional workforce reduction for review by Halifax County School Board members Monday during their regular scheduled meeting.

However, board members took no action on the policy change, opting instead to discuss it further at the board’s December meeting.

The purpose of the policy change is to determine which school employee’s job will be the first to be eliminated in the event downsizing becomes necessary due to lack of funding in upcoming school budgets. 

After informing board members the policy change had been reviewed by the schools attorney, Herndon pointed out what actions school board members can take to reduce the school work force including the following:

Teachers who are teaching in subjects or classes to be reduced and are not fully certified and/or properly endorsed in that subject or grade will be considered first for release based upon seniority.

 Teachers who are on a plan of improvement or who have unsatisfactory evaluations on one or more of the past three annual evaluations in the discretion of the school board will be considered next for release.

 Teachers who are fully certified and teaching in the area or subject of their endorsement will be considered next for release based on seniority.

“This is just for your review, and hopefully we can look at it in December,” said Herndon.

ED-8 trustee Walter Potts asked if the policy changes could be given to the Halifax Education Association for review and feedback.

“Do we normally have the HEA look at policies before?” Herndon asked board members who unanimously responded, “No.”

ED-5 trustee Roger Long asked the superintendent if the policy could be made available to principals.

“We have a principals’ meeting tomorrow,” added Herndon.

“It’s an open document. I don’t see why we’d have to make it official,” said ED-3 trustee Kimberly Farson.

No action was taken on the policy change, and school board members said they plan to discuss the policy change again before official adoption at the December school board meeting.