State Dept. of Education confirms Grayson Co. teachers will be paid for June

Grayson Co. School Board, B.O.S. continue debate over budget crisis (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

WSLS 10 Reporters Duke Carter and Aaron Martin contributed to this report.

INDEPENDENCE (WSLS 10) - The Grayson County School Board Chairman Larry Bartlett and the Virginia Department of Education confirmed Friday teachers in the county would be paid for the month of June. 

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Previous Story: Grayson Co. teachers will not be paid in June

This after the decision, through a number of meetings of the Grayson County Board of Supervisors and School Board, that teachers would not be paid due to budget constraints. A spokesperson with the Virginia Department of Education, which is providing the school system with technical support and assistance, said Friday one of the options discussed was delaying vendor payments and moving a payment cycle to July. 

Neither the chairman nor the Dept. of Education would specify where money to pay teachers would come from. 

Teacher Rebecca Absher, who also represents the Virginia Education Association (VEA) in Grayson Co., said seven students need summer school to get their diplomas and 18 were supposed to take a driver's education course this summer. No indication has been given about how these situations will be handled.

"We don't like being a pawn in this game," Absher said, referring to the budget battle between the school board and the board of supervisors.

She added teachers were preparing to take legal action if they were not paid by the end of June. 

Todd Leeson, an employment and labor law attorney with Gentry Locke in Roanoke, said the school board had little choice but to honor those contracts in place.

"There's not a whole lot of wiggle room for the employer in this type of circumstance," said Leeson, whose been practicing labor and employment law for 25 years. "You need to try and be mindful of the fiscal reality. But ultimately, these folks are going to need to get paid and the sooner the better."

Previous Story: Grayson County given ultimatum by board of supervisors in exchange for help with budget

The Grayson County School Board meets Friday evening during an emergency session at 6 p.m. The meeting will be open to the public.

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