- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A West Virginia school district has some educators scratching their heads after they had to choose numbers from a hat to determine whether they would still have their job in the 2017-2018 school year.

Due to a massive drop in enrollment, the Kanawha County School District announced last week that more than 70 positions would be cut due to a loss in state funding. On Thursday, 34 teachers in the school system had to draw a number from a hat to see if they would keep their current jobs, a local NBC News affiliate reported.

Kanawha County Schools told the station that the random selection procedure is part of code and based on seniority.

Rebecca Rhett, a kindergarten teacher at Overbrook Elementary, said teachers who drew 1-24 got to keep their jobs and those who drew 25-34 could face layoffs.

“I was already crying before I went up because I was frustrated, so when I drew the 28 I just left,” Mrs. Rhett told NBC.

Mrs. Rhett said she’s frustrated that the decision was based on everyone’s start date with the Kanawha school system, even though she’s been a teacher for 20 years.

“I looked around the room and it appeared most people were very young. Probably right out of college or not too far out of college,” she said.

“Seniority is the only factor that counts,” she added. “Experience from other counties doesn’t count or your credentials doesn’t count.”

The ten teachers affected will reportedly keep their current jobs through June and will be first on the list to fill slots vacated by retiring or departing teachers. If they haven’t been placed in new positions by June 30, they will be added to a preferred rehire list for when jobs do become available, The Blaze reported.

Four people need to retire in order for Mrs. Rhett to to keep her job at Kanawha County schools, she said.

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