School Board approves ‘must fill’ positions

Published 6:06 pm Saturday, June 27, 2009

WINTON – While Hertford County Public Schools (HCPS), like all public education systems across the state, must adjust their budgets due to shrinking state funds, they still are in the business of teaching.

Thusly, HCPS has an obligation to fill vacancies within certain curriculum areas.

At their Monday meeting, the Hertford County Board of Education voted unanimously to fill 11 teaching positions left vacant by retirements or transfers.

HCPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Basham told the board that these were “must fill” positions.

“These are positions in our core subject areas and we need the most qualified and certified individuals to fill them,” Dr. Basham said. “These positions are those we must fill in order for us to conduct classes within our schools.”

The 11 approved hires are as follows:

Early College High School – Science teacher and Social Studies teacher.

Hertford County Middle School – an Assistant Principal’s position and a Social Studies teacher. (Note: the Social Studies teacher vacancy at HCMS will be filled by transferring the system’s current Literacy Coach into this position. Due to budget cuts, the Literacy Coach position was eliminated.)

Hertford County High School – Math teacher.

Ninth Grade Success Academy – Exceptional Children teacher; Social Studies teacher and Current Affairs teacher.

Ahoskie Elementary School – Art teacher.

Riverview Elementary School – Exceptional Children Teacher.

Bearfield Primary School – Third Grade teacher.

These new hires come at a time where the school system is facing cutbacks across the board in regards to state funding.

It was noted at the Board of Education’s June 22 meeting that Hertford County Public Schools faces the potential of a $1.3 million shortfall from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for 2009-10. That led the board to approve all but one of 15 budget-reducing proposals as outlined by Dr. Basham.

Among the cuts were reducing the work days for all teacher assistants, all assistant principals, all assistant custodians and all school receptionists. Additionally, two positions were eliminated (Literacy Coach and Home School Coordinator). The board also agreed to reduce travel expenses and contracted security while raising the rates, by $2 per hour, for after-school care.

Other cost-cutting measures included the suspension of teacher signing/retention bonuses and no Summer School for 2010.

The only measure not approved at the June 22 meeting was suspending the salary supplements (3 percent for Certified personnel and 1 percent for Classified personnel) of all HCPS personnel. Those supplements are reportedly worth $500,000.

This latest round of approved cuts comes on the heels of the school board, in May, enacting its Reduction in Force policy, a move that eliminated 13 positions within the local school district. The board also agreed to reduce the annual salaries earned by teachers and all state employees within HCPS by one-half of one percent. That pay cut also applies to board of education members.