Parish schools could face hiring freeze

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 14, 2018


VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish School District could face a district-wide hiring freeze later this year if Ferriday schools are not at least 75 percent staffed with qualified teachers by Aug. 1.

Board member Fred Butcher offered two motions Thursday after the board spent more than an hour in executive session discussing the lack of certified teachers in Ferriday schools.

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Butcher offered a motion to request an immediate hiring freeze on district administration, supervisors, staff and teachers until Ferriday schools are staffed with at least 75 percent certified teachers.

The motion passed 4-2, with board members John Bostic and Ricky Raven voting against the measure.

After the request for a hiring freeze passed, Butcher offered a second motion.

“I have an alternate motion on the floor for the superintendent and his staff to make sure that Ferriday schools are 75 percent staffed with certified teachers by Aug.
1,” Butcher said.

Raven asked if the passage of this second motion meant the board would not request a hiring freeze.

“The second (motion) is first priority,” Butcher said. “It’s just giving the superintendent and his staff some leeway.”

The second motion passed unanimously.

Following the meeting Superintendent Whest Shirley said the shortage of qualified teachers is well-known and not singular to Concordia Parish or Ferriday.

“We even have incentives in place for teachers who will work in Ferriday,” Shirley said. “We’re going to do our best. Money is not the problem; we’ve got money ready to hire them. It’s just finding them.”

Shirley said a $1,000 signing bonus is available for any teachers hired on at Ferriday high school, upper elementary or junior high.

When asked what would happen if the district did not meet the hiring requirements before the deadline in Butcher’s motion Shirley simply answered, “We’re going to do the best we can.”