KEYSER, W.Va. — There will be changes in the Mineral County Board of Education hiring process policy that will allow the faculty senate, the principal and the superintendent to pick an applicant based on qualifications rather than seniority.
The policy change was due to legislationl passed by state lawmakers in the 2013 session that ended in April.
“This came about because they are wanting to get the best qualifying applicant without seniority or something like that coming into play,” Kevin Watson, board president, said. “They want to be able to choose that best qualified applicant and not have to take someone based on seniority.”
Terry LaRue questioned why seniority was continually put into the criteria when there was concern over it.
“Take it out,” said LaRue, who said criteria were stronger than seniority. “Why don’t they look at that (criteria) and eliminate the seniority.”
The policy that addresses procedures for designated hiring and the transfer of school personnel went into effect on Monday, according to Susan Grady, director of personnel services.
The policy stemmed from Senate Bill 359.
The policy is an emergency ruling through the West Virginia Department of Education, is located on its website and is open for comment until July 15, according to Grady.
“The policy is very confusing in its content and I do anticipate there will be some changes through the comment section.”
The policy has 11 hiring factors, one of which ensures that the applicant with the highest qualifications will always be the one that is recommend for employment, according to Grady.
“The more discretion that you have, the more grievances that are going to come forward,” said Grady. “If you read the policy it leaves a lot of things wide open, it leaves a lot of questions.
When someone requests a transfer (someone within the system applying) all 11 hiring factors will be weighed equally with the exception of principal’s and faculty senate’s recommendation, which will be weighed doubly, according to Grady.
The new policy won’t affect the hiring process of service personnel.
The new policy can be viewed at http://wvde.state. wv.us/policies/.
Contact Elaine Blaisdell at firstname.lastname@example.org.