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Halifax County Trustees approve 2 percent, pay hike, uphold disciplinary action

SoVaNow.com / March 14, 2013
The Halifax County School Board on Monday night approved a two percent salary increase for all school employees.

Approval came on a 5-1-1 roll call vote following a closed session of the trustees. Moving to approve the raises was ED-5 trustee Roger Long, with Phyllis Smith of ED-1 seconding his motion. Also voting in favor were Karen Hopkins, ED-2, Cheryl Terry, ED-4, and Dick Stoneman, ED-7. Walter Potts of ED-8 opposed the salary increase, and trustee Fay Satterfield, ED-6, abstained. (School Board Chairman Kim Farson, ED-3, was absent from the meeting.)

In other action following the closed session, the trustees unanimously voted to uphold an earlier decision to suspend an employee for three days without pay. They also agree to remove the “For Sale” sign that has been put up on school property in the Town of Halifax, across the street from the STEM Center. Trustees will consider what action they want to take on the property at a later date.

Also, trustees approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Halifax County to allow Halifax County Middle School to be used as the county’s primary emergency shelter in times of need. The School Board agreed to let emergency officials use the gymnasium, cafeteria, lobby, locker room areas and the auxiliary gym to house storm or disaster victims when needed. The county, in turn, will be required to supply personnel for security, medical and intake efforts.

The board also approved a revision to the school insurance policy which, as of October 1, 2013, states that any current retiree who is Medicare eligible will no longer be eligible for coverage under the school’s group health insurance program.

The proposed calendar for the coming school year was presented by Linda Owen and approved by trustees. The first day of classes for the 2013-14 school year is Monday, August 19.

Trustees also accepted the low bid of $161,000 submitted by Comfort Systems, USA for the replacement of the HVAC system at the STEM Academy in Halifax.

Trustees pondered the wording of a policy, Tobacco-Free School for Staff and Students, for more than a half hour, before deciding to delay action on possible changes. The policy will be brought back up at a later meeting.

Several board members expressed concern that the policy’s opening statement — “Smoking, chewing or any other use of any tobacco products by staff, students and visitors is prohibited on school property” — conflicts with a subsequent provision that “the school board may direct the superintendent to issue regulations designating smoking areas on school grounds outside buildings.” Action on the smoking policy was delayed on a 6-1 vote, with Potts opposing the delay.

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Comments

Who paid for that high school to be built. The taxes of tobacco farmers! Now an adult cannot smoke on school grounds if this passes. What a bunch of BS!

Comments

Ah, AP, but things like that are conveniently forgotten.

I suspect it has more to do with keeping federal funding than anything else, though HCPS administration would never be aboveboard with that. All the other inanities they throw out seem to be tied to keeping it.

Time was I would never have considered sending my kids to private schools. If I had school-aged kids now, I would do whatever it took to keep them out of any K-12 school system receiving any government funding whatsoever. Title I way back in 1965 was just the federal cat getting its head thru the mousehole. Guess no one back then realised the back half of the cat was an octopus, sticking its tentacles into everything...


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