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Board delay earns teachers' ire

September 06, 2000

Board delay earns teachers' ire



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


Teachers are "irritated" that the Washington County Board of Education has not responded to a long list of concerns they presented to the School Board in April, according to Sharon Chirgott, Washington County Teachers Association president.

Chirgott and five other teachers voiced their feelings before the School Board Tuesday night.

On April 18, teachers presented the School Board with more than 40 concerns, including alleged intimidation by superiors, teacher certification, school calendars, distance learning and a scarcity of substitutes.

Teachers met with the School Board June 5 to further discuss the concerns. The School Board agreed to study the complaints and respond in a written report.

As of Sept. 5, Chirgott said the teachers hadn't received a response.

"It's now approaching five months," said Melissa Williams, a member of the board of directors for the WCTA. "It's important that the next step occur soon."

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Teacher Debbie Zacher called the lack of response "frustrating" and urged another meeting with the School Board within the next two weeks.

"We are no closer to having our questions answered than we were four months ago," said Zacher, who is on the WCTA Board of Directors.

Teachers repeated concerns that a scarcity of substitutes in the school system is harming students' education and that teachers don't feel they're trusted by administrators to make educational decisions.

Teachers, however, did say they have met with School Board member B. Marie Byers last week and plan to meet with School Board Vice President Doris Nipps Friday.

While School Board member Andrew Humphreys did not address teachers directly, he said the elected board was not ignoring anybody. Rather, he said, education issues are becoming more complex and board members need time to study what is brought before them.

"We are responsive to every need, to every issue and to every concern that is being brought to this board in one way or another," Humphreys said.

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