|No classes today|
The fiscally-distressed Helena-West Helena School District has been making big cuts to the staff and budgets throughout the school year. Over 100 employees recently received letters as part of the district's reduction in force plan. Opponents of embattled Superintendent Willie Williams plans contend that the district's policies have not been followed. Others have said the number of layoffs wasn't large enough and that more campuses in addition to Woodruff Kindergarten should have been closed next year.
|Williams and the Board|
Attempts to reach Superintendent Williams were not successful. However, the Inside Scoop Online was able to get in contact with Brenda Brown, the chairman of the district's Personnel Policies Committee, which negotiates with the Superintendent and School Board on behalf of the teachers since the HWHSD doesn't recognize the local AEA chapter as a union. She told the Scoop that early estimates showed that 85% of teachers district-wide had participated in the sick out. When asked what was the issue that drove them out of the classroom she said, "The 3% pay cut was rejected by the teachers. The Superintendent and the Board did it anyway. He (Williams) even told us that a pay cut won't affect anyone's pay."
|Most CHS students spent the morning in the gym.|
One board member who has been openly critical of the Superintendent, Christopher Franklin, also spoke with our staff. He said, "I am sympathetic with the teachers and they have told me that either the Superintendent goes or they (the teachers) do." Franklin was asked if he had talked with the Superintendent this morning. He said, "The Superintendent will not talk to me."
The Inside Scoop will keep everyone posted as information comes in.