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With much uncertain, board ponders needs, areas to cut
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Action on Halifax County school budget pushed back
SoVaNow.com / April 11, 2013Halifax County trustees on Monday night delayed taking action to rework their budget for the coming year after taking a $240,000 funding cut, the amount that county supervisors declined to provide the schools for the coming year.
The $240,000 local funding request had been included in the budget that the School Board presented to supervisors on April 1. With the rejection of the funds, the school budget is once again out of balance.
Trustees called for a special meeting on Wednesday, April 24 at 5 p.m. to discuss the budget and personnel issues that reductions in the new budget may necessitate. Board Chairman Kim Farson said Monday that she also hopes to have more information at that time about what funding reductions federal sequestration may bring. The local division receives about $3.6 million in federal funds.
Turning to unfinished business from last month’s discussion, trustees unanimously approved on an 8-0 vote Tobacco Free Schools throughout the county. The approved ordinance which becomes effective July 1, prohibits “smoking, chewing or any other use of any tobacco products by staff, students and visitors on school property.”
School property is defined as “all portions of any building or other structure and the land thereon owned by the Halifax County School Board which is used for instruction, administration, support services, maintenance or storage.
Also the definition includes “any facility or portion of such facility and the land thereon owned by or leased or contracted for the Halifax County School Board and used for the provision of regular or routine health care, day care or early childhood development (Head Start) services and all vehicles used by the division for transporting students, staff, visitors or other persons and all outdoor athletic facilities.”
Furthermore, there will be no designated smoking areas and the rules will apply not only to students and staff, but also visitors or guests at the schools and those in attendance at athletic functions and other school programs.
Students who violate the rules will be disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct and parental notification. Staff members who break the rule will receive a verbal warning for their first offense, a written warning for a second offense and a written reprimand for a third offense.
Individuals who violate the ordinance at outdoor athletic events will be asked to dispose of the tobacco produce in use during their first offense. A second offense will mean they will be asked to leave and on a third offense they will be asked to leave the premises and they will be prohibited from returning for the remainder of the season. Under aged smokers will be referred to law enforcement personnel present at the event.
In other business, Valdivia Marshall, executive director for administration, explained to trustees that the administration is attempting to establish rules for consistency and fairness with regard to past experience when making new hires. The proposal gives teachers with a bachelor degree and previous teaching experience credit for one year for each year taught. Those who hold a bachelors degree and worked in other professional areas would receive one year’s credit for every three years of full time work or one credit for every six years of part-time work.
The proposal also addresses credit given for military experience at one to one and it also includes the credit to be given for maintenance, secretarial and paraprofessional work.
Noting that there have been no guidelines, only a “practice policy” since 1979, trustees concluded they wanted to be very careful in setting the guidelines and delayed taking final action on the proposal until their May meeting.
Also maintenance director Larry Roller presented trustees with five bids which were received for the roof replacement project at the high school. He recommended acceptance of the $306,200 bid submitted by AAR of North Carolina, Inc.
That bid, Roller said, was below what he had estimated the cost of the roof work to be. Trustees approved the bid, noting that the work would be carried out and completed during this year’s summer vacation months.
Roller also sought the board’s approval of returning the firefighting/EMS equipment to the departments which had earlier donated it to the school. He noted that the school no longer teaches the firefighting or rescue classes and asked to be allowed to return two pumpers, one to the Liberty Fire Department and the other to the Clover Fire Department and the EMS vehicle to the North Halifax Fire Department.
The maintenance director also advised trustees that the schools would not be holding any surplus sales this year since there is not enough usable materials to warrant conducting a sale.
Trustees also approved the annual special education plan for 2013-2014 as presented by Jeff Davis.
CommentsWhy three to one? That is crazy! Teachers only work 200 days a year and get paid for a full year. I would love to see any of these teachers go and get a "real job" in the real world, where you don't have sick leave and personal days, a week off for Christmas, a week for spring break etc. If a person goes into teaching from the real world it should be one for one, I cannot believe the aggorance of these school employees. I bet the new supt. and Marshall, also agree with the MSNBC lady that says the kids belong to the community. Also, I won't be spending any money to go see anything at the schools now that they are so anti-tobacco. How do you think all these schools were built?
- By allpolitical2 on 04 / 11 / 13
CommentsWeird how Halifax County has no problem begging and grobbeling before the tobacco commission for grants for shell buildings, schools and all the other necessities like the visitors center. They gladly accept tobacco funding and use it as poorly as any county in the state. Wonder what will happen when the tobacco money is gone. A little hypocritical I would think that these school officials, stab in the back the goose that lays the golden egg. Karma will definitely get this county.
- By Really on 04 / 11 / 13
CommentsYou are right really, but we are the crazy ones for thinking that way. It is not PC to smoke anymore. I wish normal working people ran the schools instead of the hyprocites we have now, and the holier and better then everyone else crowd.
- By allpolitical2 on 04 / 12 / 13
CommentsGet a grip allpolitical2 "and others---"Tobacco is not king any more!!!!"
- By JoeBlow on 04 / 15 / 13
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