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School Board Restores Teacher Contracts

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The Cherokee County Board of Education voted Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed by career and tech school teachers following their reduction in contracts back in 2011.

As part of that settlement, the teacher’s contracts and salary have been restored.

One contract was increased to 12-months while the other nine were increased to 10-months.

Voting in favor of the settlement were board members Mark Green and Suzanne James Bishop, along with chair Lisa McKissick.

McKissick said she doesn’t view the action as an admission of wrongdoing and she wishes the issue could have been settled without the courts being involved.

Former Superintendent Brian Johnson and members of the board had previously told the county commission, as they were considering a one-cent sales tax to benefit the school system, that the 83-thousand dollars would be restored if the funds were available.

However, two of those board members, Mark Gossett and Lynn Rochester, voted “No” Tuesday night.

Rochester says she doesn’t think the board was given a chance to honor its word because the employees filed suit before funds from a one-cent sales tax approved could be collected.

She says the Reduction in Force was done legally and the suit was “Political and Personal.”

Although she voted against the settlement, Rochester says she is glad the issue has been reached a conclusion.

Gossett also explained his vote Tuesday by saying he feels like there are other teachers in the system that are deserving of a 10th month and he could not vote “Yes” until they can find a way to do that.

When that original action was taken, the board said they were short 1.5 million dollars and had to close the Career & Tech Center – and reduce the teachers’ contracts and pay.

 

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