Board OKs revise to hiring policies

The revision prevents good candidates from being lost, board members said.
CANFIELD -- The Canfield Board of Education voted 4-1 Tuesday to loosen restrictive language in its hiring policies.
The board had a first reading of the policy revision in August but made changes at a special meeting Tuesday.
The vote was on a first reading of the changes. After a second reading, the revision becomes final.
The revision hastens the timetable for making hirings after interviews, so that good candidates don't get tired of waiting and go elsewhere.
It also makes it easier for someone who is related to a district employee to be considered for employment.
Gone would be current language that calls for a courtesy interview of relatives, who would then be told they most likely won't be hired because consideration would be given first to nonrelatives.
The revision of teaching and nonteaching staff hiring policies, adopted in December 2005, also calls for not requiring more widespread advertising than contractual employee notification, building postings and searches at colleges and universities.
The old language called for a second round of advertising if a qualified candidate was not found through the first search. If the second round of advertising still did not produce a good candidate, then a relative who was considered in the first round could be recommended for the hire.
Wider search
The revision reads that if the need arises, openings would be more widely advertised.
"You get into a larger search area if there are no viable candidates, correct?" said board member Brian Kessner.
"We do anything we can to get good people," said Superintendent Dante Zambrini.
Board members who favor the change said they didn't like the idea of having to tell qualified applicants that they had to wait while the district held more interviews.
Zambrini said many qualified candidates, especially teachers in math, sciences, special education and foreign languages, find jobs right away and could be lost while the district conducts more interviews.
Board member David Moore, who was part of last year's board that passed the old language, voted against the revision.
"I know we went through a lot of struggle," he said. "I still wish we weren't allowed to hire our own relatives."
Zambrini said the district wants the best qualified person -- no matter what their background is.
Board president Martha Zarlenga said she believes the revision is "fair to the district and to everybody."
"We're not discriminating," she said. "We are a Canfield family."

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