Fort Bragg schools set academic calendar, await furlough decision
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Fort Bragg school officials are waiting to hear from the federal government about whether the district will have to furlough employees because of federal budget cuts.
"We are waiting for the Secretary of Defense's decision whether or not to issue notices of intent to furlough," Superintendent Emily Marsh told the board Thursday during its monthly meeting.
The school board approved next year's Fort Bragg school calendar. The 2013-14 school year will start Aug. 26 for the district's 5,000 students.
The calendar reflects training holidays. The winter and spring breaks mirror those of Cumberland and Harnett schools.
"We simply can't match every single day with the counties because they have different professional development days," said Marsh. "We have matched the calendar as well as we can."
Ten workdays for teachers have not been reduced because of the possibility of furloughs, she said.
"We decided not to take any of those teachers prep days," Marsh said. "The reason for that is we don't know, first of all, if we will be affected by furloughs. We really want our teachers to be as ready for our students as possible."
If the school system learns about staff furloughs, Marsh said early-release days can be used.
"At this time, we are hoping for the best," she said. "We are hoping that the number of furlough days would be minimal for all federal employees, and perhaps teachers and paraprofessionals working directly with students will not be affected."
In other business, Marsh informed the board that the system has submitted a request to the Department of Defense Education Activity to name the new McNair Murray building, which is under construction, in honor of Capt. Kimberly Hampton.
Hampton was the first woman in the 82nd Airborne Division to die from hostile fire. She also is the division's first company commander to die in the war on terrorism.
Hampton, a native of Easley, S.C., was killed Jan. 2, 2004, when her OH-58 Kiowa Warrior observation helicopter was attacked near the Iraqi town of Fallujah, west of Baghdad. She was commander of Delta Troop of the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.
"Capt. Hampton typifies the values of citizenship and commitment to duty for which we all respect and strive for," Marsh said. " Her life story is an inspiration for young and old alike."
It could be several months before school officials know the status of their request, she said, pending approval from the Department of Defense.