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Beaufort County Schools want more black teachers

By Staff
Minority Hiring Practices Committee formed
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
The Beaufort County Schools Minority Hiring Practices Committee was formed during the fall of 2007 to try to design a way to attract more African Americans to teach in the school system.
The committee has met twice and its recommendations devised during those two meetings were sent to the Nov. 26 Beaufort County Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting.
The recommendations include:
At the Minority Hiring Practices Committee’s first meeting, committee member Archie Harding said, “What I’m hearing (in this meeting) is unacceptable, and we can keep going on and on and on,” he said. “Something has to be done for our young people to get the education they don’t get.”
Also at this first meeting, Kelvin Cyrus, Beaufort County Schools executive director for human resources, told the committee members that the hiring of minority practices is a concern.
At this first meeting, Robert Belcher, chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Education, said there is more money in other majors.
Cyrus said the school system is out there competing for a small piece of the pie.
Belcher suggested the school system try to grow its own teachers. In other words, he said, work from within the system and county.
Belcher also suggested that the school system should offer funds to help teacher assistants in the system gain their certifications to teach with the contingency that they stay with the local school system for a certain amount of time.
At the second meeting of the committee, Harding said, “I am disappointed with the hiring of minority students that is not happening (in the Beaufort County Schools). Our pool of minority teachers is gradually diminishing and they are not being replaced with minority teachers.”
Schools are also having problems hiring white teachers, said White.
Superintendent Jeffery Moss said supplements can be modified only by the Board of Education and must come from the local budget.
In addition to Harding and O’Pharrow, other members of the Minority Hiring Practices Committee include Joe Boston, Joneice Carroll, Cynthia Heath, Glenora Jennette, Dianne Lee, Anthony Northern and Leon Whitney.