Last updated: July 14. 2014 9:24PM - 1151 Views
By - mflomer@civitasmedia.com

Melonie Flomer | Daily JournalThe Richmond County Board of Education meets to discuss hiring new teachers.
Melonie Flomer | Daily JournalThe Richmond County Board of Education meets to discuss hiring new teachers.
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HAMLET — New hires for teaching positions in Richmond County Schools were the hot topic of a special meeting of the county Board of Education on Monday.

Hiring teachers was one of interim superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman’s highest priorities, she said on the day she took her oath of office. After Monday’s meeting, she can scratch that off her list despite the state’s ongoing budget stalemate.

“They went into closed session,” Goodman said. “I had a personnel report (for) just hiring some teaching positions. They approved it.”

While the legislature continues to battle over education issues including teacher pay and the Common Core state standards, school districts are faced with the looming possibility of losing teacher assistants in order for the state to provide teachers raises while leaving their tenure intact or keeping assistants but giving teachers lower increases in pay — if they agree to forfeit their tenure.

State lawmakers had not passed a budget as of Monday. The 2014-15 fiscal year began July 1.

A deadlock between the House and Senate continued Monday as state representatives held a scheduled conference — which members of the other chamber did not attend.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said lawmakers rescheduled a Friday meeting until Monday to accomodate Senate budget negotiators. House members spoke as senators’ nameplates sat in front of empty seats.

“We stayed focused just on the facts and what the implications are for a number of these decisions,” Dollar told the Associated Press.

New hires weren’t the only item discussed behind closed doors at the school board meeting. Goodman said the board also “talked about the next step of the superintendent position.” No details of those conversations were made public.

Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @MelonieFlomer.

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