The St. Mary Parish School Board approved new job descriptions for several staff positions including teachers, librarians and guidance counselors Thursday.
The vote was 8-1 with School board member Marilyn LaSalle voting nay, board President Roland Verret abstaining and board member Wayne Deslatte absent.
Human Resources Director Ricky Armelin said the job description changes are a direct result of state education changes.
According to the Louisiana Department of Education, House Bill 1033 links the evaluations of teachers and school administrators to student growth and specifically calls for the annual evaluation of teachers via the statewide implementation of Louisiana’s value-added assessment model by the 2012-13 school year.
“This especially affects the job descriptions for teachers, librarians and counselors because they will be evaluated on that new model,” Armelin said. “If you look at it now, there is language in the job descriptions that comes from the new evaluation models resulting from the state act.”
Armelin said the major change in the job description revolves around the fact that teacher, librarian and guidance counselor evaluations will now be split equally between school principals and the evaluation model set by the state.
The new language in the job descriptions reflects the state changes that went into effect July 1.
But before the matter was even addressed, Verret said he would abstain from the vote because he was not presented with a copy of the changes until the actual meeting.
“My objection is that I have never seen them until I walked in today,” he said. “I was told they would be mailed to us, but for whatever reason, my packet never arrived. For that reason, I am going to abstain from this. I am not saying the new job descriptions are good or bad. I’m just saying I never got them in the mail, and I can’t vote on something I haven’t seen.”
Following Verret’s objection, LaSalle also questioned the measure and said the board members should be given adequate time to review personnel policies before the measure comes to a vote.
Superintendent Donald Aguillard said it is procedure that the board be allowed 30 days for a new policy to be considered but not changes or updates to polices or job descriptions.
LaSalle replied the job descriptions should have been presented to the board in advance. Aguillard responded that the revised job descriptions were internal to Armelin’s office and not new job descriptions.
“Traditionally, job description changes came before school board committees before being voted upon at a board meeting,” LaSalle said before voting no. “I feel the board did not have adequate time to ask appropriate questions before addressing the matter.”