Floyd County’s school board took out its anger on employees Wednesday night, cutting jobs and eliminating already-vacant positions because the Board of Supervisors had the gall to suggest they give other employees raises for the first time in three years.
One of those fired is part-time attendance services department director Bill Gardner — who is also a member of the board of supervisors. Gardner, a retired school system employee, loses $18,623 in salary and benefits. Other cuts include two clerical positions in the administration office and a part-time nurse.
School superintendent Terry W. Arbogast — whose previously-secret annual compensation package of nearly $170,000 a year spawned a fight with the supervisors, had nothing to say about the layoffs. Neither did school board chairman Doug Phillips. Both men are under fire in the community for the school board’s past series of informal raises to Arbogast that created a countywide crisis of confidence in the school system leadership.
In the wake of the emerging scandal, supervisors voted to increase their authority over the school board by exercising category-by-category control over the budget. In May, they voted to shift money from the administration budget to other accounts to fund a one percent raise for school system employees.
Supervisors will consider the revised school board budget next week and finalize the county budget.
(Article based on information in The Roanoke Times and discussions with teachers and school system employees)