By February 9, 2016 Read More →

Mercer, McDowell counties to cut school staffs

PRINCETON, W.Va. — Faced with declining student enrollment and a decrease in state funding, McDowell County and Mercer County schools systems are being forced to lay-off professional and service staff positions.

In McDowell County, 30 positions are being impacted by layoffs. This includes 15 professional positions and 15 service positions, Tonya White, personnel director for the McDowell County Board of Education, said Monday.

McDowell County is facing a $1.5 million cut in local and state funding. White said the county also has been losing about 100 students a year for the last four years. Local job losses in the coal industry, and a decrease in local coal-severance tax revenue, also is impacting the school system.

White said the school system has been making staff adjustments for several years now due to declining enrollment and funding losses.

The affected employees will remain on the job until the end of the current school year. White said there is a possibility that some could then be called back to work depending upon retirements and transfers.

The impacted positions will come from schools across the county. Professional personnel are composed of teachers, administrators, counselors and others. Service personnel include bus drivers, school aides, custodians and related positions.

White said a variety of factors, including seniority and certification, are considered by the school system when making decisions regarding staff adjustments.

In neighboring Mercer County, declining enrollment and state funding cuts are forcing the school system to look at its staffing…

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