IOW schools cut 21 jobs

Published 9:50 am Saturday, June 15, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—Twenty-one jobs, including eight teachers from the Isle of Wight County School System are being cut for the next school year, as announced during Thursday’s school board meeting.

The losses are the result of the back-and-forth struggle for money from the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors. After presenting an approved budget in late March, the supervisors demanded the schools continue to cut. Ultimately, the schools got only $24.2 million county support for its total $55 million budget. The $4 million reduction from the current fiscal year required the school board make reductions where necessary.

The teachers and staff have already been informed they will not be coming back, said Director of Human Resources Dr. Phil Jepson.

During citizens’ time to address the board, Neal Johnson of Smithfield and Bill McCarty of Carrollton both asked Hardy district’s Herb DeGroft to resign.

“What part of resign do you not understand,” Johnson asked. “Put pride aside.”

He and McCarty were addressing DeGroft’s part in the private circulating of controversial emails that contained crude humor. These were publicly exposed in May, and other demands have been repeatedly made for DeGroft and Byron “Buzz” Bailey, Newport District supervisor, to step down. Both men have apologized, but are staying put for now. DeGroft did announce earlier this past week that he would not seek reelection this year.

“It’s over. It’s done with. Forget it and go on,” said Shelly Perry of Smithfield. “I for one want you to stay. How the board is treating him now is wrong.”