Axed teacher positions to continue work in Horry Co. schools

By Chandi Lowry - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Members of the Horry County School Board are working to decide where to position teachers whose jobs could be cut following the approval of slashing 120 positions Monday night.

Joe DeFeo, a member of the school board, said three teachers who would have lost their jobs can now look forward to teaching in the Horry County School District after a motion was made at a preliminary budget meeting to make sure the teachers could work.

"The motion I made [Monday] guaranteed them a job next year. They'll either be used as long-term subs or wherever the superintendent needs them," DeFeo commented.

At the Monday evening meeting, board members voted to cut 120 positions through attrition or by moving workers to other positions. DeFeo said five years have yet to be placed, but they will still receive a paycheck and benefits.

"We have the openings for long-term sub positions. There's no reason why we can't keep certified teachers on in that position with full pay so they aren't losing their jobs and no one else gets in the unemployment line," DeFeo said. "We are filling some positions with certified teachers."

He claims the move is in the best interest of the students.

"It's not a matter of protecting your job. It's a matter of protecting the children and keeping good teachers in the classroom," he said.

DeFeo explained the school district is working on this year's plan, but administrators are also concerned with the upcoming 2011-2012 year. The district has used $13 million in federal stimulus money to pull through, but the cash will eventually run out.

"It's a help, but it's also a warning shot for the next year because that's $13 million we will not have until next year. We can take $13 million out of the reserves, but we don't want to go two or three years and deplete our reserves and then be in the position that most of the other school boards are in the state with no money in reserves," he said.

The final budget vote and a public hearing will be held on June 7.

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