Dove Finds Sups' Action 'Interesting'

Published 4:41 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

PRINCE EDWARD – County School Board Chairman Russell Dove presented a report on legislative priorities at the November school board meeting, deeming two proposals from the board of supervisors “interesting” to him as a school board member.

Specifically, County Supervisors, meeting with legislators or their representatives on October 23, listed among their legislative priorities: that the board “encourages the Virginia Assembly to study the need for further modifications of continuing contracts for K-12 employees.”

While there was no further detail offered in the luncheon presentation, Dove added that he was due to meet with the board of supervisors Chairman William “Buckie” Fore and Farmville Mayor Sydnor Newman later this month and he may ask what kind of changes, modifications they're looking for.

Email newsletter signup

A second issue, Dove referenced, was the board's legislative priority urging the General Assembly to give governing bodies that make appointments to local authorities, boards and commissions, the authority to remove appointees.

School board members in Prince Edward are appointed by the board of supervisors.

Dove noted that he did some checking and Virginia Code provides that any appointee can already be removed for a criminal conviction or if they become mentally unstable.

He added that to him, more importantly, the board of supervisors already has the opportunity to remove one fourth of the school board every year and any specific member every four years. (Supervisors appoint two of the school board's eight-member board every year; each seat comes up for appointment every four years.)

Every four years, Dove would also cite, is “equal to what the citizen has to make a decision on their performance.”

Board member Linda Leatherwood added that it was maybe any appointment they're talking about.

“…Any appointment could include the school, but I said as a school board member it was intriguing to me…,” Dove said.

He noted that they didn't list school board members, but said appointees.

“I…personally just don't see the actual need for it,” Dove said.

The Forum

The County's legislative forum was held at Hampden-Sydney College October 23 where representatives from the County, schools, Crossroads Community Services Board, Centra Southside Community Hospital, Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College outlined legislative concerns. (Also among those present were legislators or their representative.)

School priorities presented at the luncheon included:

*A request to see the probationary contract term for new teachers extended from three to five years.

*A request to extend the probationary period from one to two years for teachers with a continuing contract that transfer from one school division to another.

*That the statute that requires the opening of school after Labor Day be repealed.

*That the Virginia Retirement System be fully funded to maintain long-term viability.

*And asked that legislators help in lessening the ever-growing financial strain.