Ocracoke School Needs Senate Bill 15
A statement went out this morning from Hyde County about the importance of Senate Bill 15 to Ocracoke School's future. (See full statement below.) I called Hyde County Schools superintendent Dr. Randolph Latimore to get some more information.
"This funding was in the prior budget, and it comes up again every two years," he explained. "We don't foresee a major issue with it, but if Ocracoke residents would like to call their legislators, that could help."
Dr. Latimore will be at the committee hearing on April 19th to speak about the importance of this funding for Ocracoke.
Without the renewal of this funding for geographically-isolated schools, Ocracoke School would lose 5 teacher positions (yikes!) unless the Hyde County could make up the difference in funding.
Again, Dr. Latimore doesn't expect this to be a hard sell to the legislators, but it never, ever hurts to let your state senator hear from you about important issues.
The message for our state senators is simple: please keep the law the way it is.
If you've never called a government critter's office before, it's easy! Just say, "Hi, my name is ____ and I'm a registered voter on Ocracoke and I'd like to ask Senator Cook to vote yes on Senate Bill 15, which would keep the Isolated School Allotment in the budget. Ocracoke School needs this funding. Thank you."
If you don't live on Ocracoke, just change that bit of info about yourself and call the senator from your district. Find out who he is here. (Just kidding, 13/50 are women! A whopping 26%!)
Hyde County Statement 4/14/17:
Senate Bill 15 Has Specific implications For Ocracoke SchoolAttached is a copy of Senate Bill 15 that will be heard in committee on April 19, 2017 at noon in room 544 LOB. This legislation has specific implications for the 4.5 positions at Ocracoke School. The anticipated dollar amount based on last years teacher allotment is $280,656 for 4.5 positions. If this Bill is not passed, that means that the Ocracoke School will lose 4.5 or 5 positions and the County will be asked to fund the lost positions.
The Isolated School Allotment grants an additional 4.5 teachers to Ocracoke School to supplement the regular allotment so the School will be guaranteed at least one teacher for each grade.
There are no monies available in the Hyde County School Budget for the replacement of these allotment dollars if they are lost. Please note the school system has suffered two separate substantial reductions in force in the last four years.
Loss of this allotment would result in the loss of five (5) teachers at the Ocracoke School. If these teachers are lost, the only option available to the School System is to combine grades at the Ocracoke School as follows:
Combine Grade K and 1, Combine Grade 2 and 3, Combine Grade 4 and 5, Combine Grade 6 and 7, Combine Grade 8 and 9
Clearly, the loss of the positions would create a severe academic hardship for the School.