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BOE passes reduction in force policy

With tough financial times ahead, the Crenshaw County Board of Education put a reduction in workforce policy in place on Monday night.

The plan sets guidelines for how the Board will handle personnel layoffs if such a measure becomes necessary.

That possibility is looming larger because of Governor Robert Bentley’s declared three percent proration on the state education trust fund.

Before reviewing the policy, superintendent Randy Wilkes told the board members that a section outlining the recall of employees was added to the overall policy.

“What do you do after you’ve reduced the number of employees?” Wilkes asked. “How do you bring them back? The AASB [Alabama Association of School Boards] agreed that we needed a recall policy.”

Following a declaration of a shortage of revenues, laid off employees would be placed on a recall list.

While on the list, employees wouldn’t receive pay or benefits, but they would be given priority when the system began hiring again.

The policy states that no new employee can be hired in place of someone on the recall list.

Following reductions of non-certified and non-tenured teachers, a policy was put in place establishing guidelines for cutting tenured teachers.

Among the deciding factors are: certification in the teaching position which is being retained, seniority and length of continuous full-time employment, degree held, and date of board contract.

If everything is equal, the last resort to break the tie would be a domino draw.

The policy also laid out guidelines for support personnel, which are similar.

“The board policy committee did an excellent job,” Wilkes said. “A lot of effort has gone into this.”

The reduction in force policy was approved unanimously.

In other business, the school system was presented with a $19,000 check from the Southeast Alabama Gas District for technology needs in the system.

“We really appreciate them doing that again this year,” Wilkes said.

The board also gave the go-ahead on applying for QZAB (Qualified Zone Academy Bonds) grants, which would go toward building renovations if awarded.

The next meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 with a work session at 5 p.m.