You fund them. You want them to do well. They impact your property values. So you want a say in local schools and policy? Here's your chance. Don't pass it up.
On Oct. 17 the Newton County School System's Department of Public Relations issued a FaceBook request for public input into an upcoming board review of policies in the NCSS Policy Manual: Section G Personnel. NCSS asks that you send your input to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of my district have written to me about this section of the NCSS Policy Manual, which includes staff conflicts of interest, staff rights, bigotry, suspension, separation, work load, military leave and retirement.
Section G is lengthy so I'll share one example, Policy GAG, and encourage you to read them all. Policy GAG is titled Staff Conflict of Interest. This policy currently reads as follows since 1999:
"No employee of the Newton County Board of Education shall engage in or have a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any activity that conflicts or raises a reasonable question of conflict with his or her duties and responsibilities.
"Employees shall not engage in work of any type where the source of information concerning customer, client, or employer originates from any information obtained through the school system.
"Administrators and supervisors employed by the Newton County Board of Education shall not directly supervise, evaluate, or recommend for continuation of contract or termination of employment a spouse, parent, son or daughter, parent-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law."
A complete explanation of each policy in section G may be found at the following link: http://www.newtoncountyschools.org/board-of-education/ncss-policy-manual.aspx or at www.newtoncountyschools.org, click on Board of Education at the top of the screen, scroll down to the bottom right and click "NCSS Policy Manual" and scroll down to Section G Personnel. Click on each highlighted section.
Discussion will take place at the monthly work session on Nov. 13 and board action follows on Nov. 27. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. A public participation time takes place at the beginning of each meeting. Speakers simply have to arrive at 7 p.m., sign a short form, follow the ground rules and make your voices heard.
And yes, the ground rules apply to the Chamber of Commerce. I get that question a lot since they hit it out of the park.
Other important sub-sections of Section G are as follows: GAEA: Staff Protection (physical and psychological protection), GAE: Complaints and Grievances (certificated), GAEC Staff Protection --Verbal or Physical Acts of Bigotry, GAM (1): Staff Rights and Responsibilities, GAK: Personnel Records, GBK: Suspension, GBRC: Work Load, GBRG Non-School Employment and GBRID: Military Leave.
One of the important jobs of a school board member is to set policy. I encourage your participation in this process for firsthand knowledge of the schools you fund.
Jeff Meadors may be reached at email@example.com