Thursday, April 2, 2009

31 Teachers Holding Their Breath – Councilwoman Can Vote

Counilwoman Anita Price with School Board members Mae Huff & Lori Vaught

Counilwoman Anita Price with School Board members Mae Huff & Lori Vaught

UPDATE: Further confirming Councilwoman Anita Price’s plans to vote on the additional funds requested by the School Board, City Attorney William Hackworth replied in a email:

Yes – Ms. Price has complied with FOIA by filing a disclosure statement with the City Clerk’s office, and she will make an oral disclosure at any meeting at which the School Board budget is discussed. FOIA was amended in 2003 to permit this, and there are school board employees serving on local government bodies throughout the State who are able to participate in discussing school board issues as a result.


At the Roanoke City School Board meeting Tuesday night, School Administrator, Rita Bishop said that 31 teaching positions are contingent upon the outcome of Roanoke City Council’s ability to find the $3.7 million that the School Board requested.

Councilwoman, Anita Price attended the meeting and said that this Saturday at 8:30 AM they will meet to discuss the City’s budget and funding the schools as requested. Price was uncertain if all members were able to clear their schedules to attend. Councilman Dave Trinkle had a conflict that Price thought has been cleared up but unsure if Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea was able to adjust his schedule.

According to Hackworth’s email Price will be able to vote on the added funding which alleviates the risk of being short the 5 votes necessary to appropriate the anticipated $3.7 million.

Everything hinges on the requested funds from Roanoke City Council. Every Council member should realize how important it is to be present at Saturday’s special Council meeting. School Board member Jason Bingham gave Price his cell phone number to call as soon as there is a decision.

Assuming that RCPS receives the requested funds there is still much work to do before the School Board meets on April 7th. They need to finalize their budget with the figure that City Council gives them. At first City Council was going to meet 8:00 AM on Monday morning which would have made it very difficult if not impossible to be ready for the drop-dead April 7th School Board meeting. Time is of the essence. Teacher’s contracts must be finalized for next year.

School Board member, Courtney Penn who did the “heavy lifting” in the restructuring of the attendance zones asked Bishop how RCPS could retain the best teachers. Penn was alluding to the fact that the best teachers may have just been recently recruited but would have the least seniority resulting in the loss of these high-performing resources. Bishop responded that there is no way she could begin to assess that until she knows how much of the $3.7 million that Council was able to pull together.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Education, Roanoke City Public Schools

Tags: ,


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