Elkin City Schools Board of Education members voted unanimously Monday night to amend the election policy so that only spouses will be forbidden from working for the school system during board members’ elected terms.
The amended section of Policy 2110 was changed from “No member of the immediate family of a member of the board of education may be employed by the school system, except for short-term or temporary employment” to “no spouses of a member of the board of education may be employed by the school system, except for short-term or temporary employment.”
In an overview by the N.C. School Board Association, members left decisions on handling the election policies up to the local entities, but did make suggestions for changes to modify the wording that could limit those who serve on the board. The changes from the wording would have removed the last sentence, opening spouses and family members of school board members to remain employed by the Elkin City Schools system on a full-time basis.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe said Tuesday that he thought “the board did a tremendous job of discussing the scenario with each other and deciding, that yes, it would indeed be kind of a pressure for a spouse to be employed, but let’s stop here and not go into immediate family however that could be defined …
“In North Carolina, some families have traditional ties to education,” he said, “and you don’t want to keep those people from carrying those torches of professional education.”
Particularly in small towns and rural areas, Bledsoe said, “There are going to be children, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters of board members who are some of our most valued educators, so you have to look at that when you talk about immediate family.”
By voting the way they did, the superintendent said board members keep “the door open for other immediate family to be employed by our school system.”
With predicted teacher shortages, Bledsoe said at the meeting that board members and educators should be encouraging more people to work in education.
The amended policy was first adopted in 1971 and has remained unchanged ever since.
Kathy Chaffin may be reached at 336-258-4058.