Geneva County School Superintendent David Snell and the school board are weighing several options to keep teachers from migrating to surrounding districts.
Just days before the start of the new school year last August, Slocomb High School Principal Max Whittaker faced a critical problem.
Several non-tenured teachers who said they were coming back decided to take positions in surrounding districts at the last minute.
"We’ve had several teachers find jobs in Dothan, Enterprise, or some larger city, and then we have to scramble to find replacements," said Principal Whittaker.
At the Geneva County School Board meeting, discussion centered on having non-tenured instructional personnel sign contracts. That might prevent a teacher exodus just days before the start of school.
"Several teachers took jobs elsewhere and that forced us to start looking to find replacements. We are looking toward the direction of contracts," said Superintendent Snell.
Geneva County is adjacent to the Dothan and Enterprise school districts. One longtime Geneva County board member feels it's critical for the children to have competent teachers.
"So many of the teachers will accept a job with us while they jockey around looking for other jobs, and leave us without a teacher," said Sam "Bo" Revels, a School Board member.
Higher salaries and living closer to home are two big factors in luring teachers out of rural school districts.
The Geneva County School Board is expected to decide next month whether non-tenured personnel need to sign paperwork agreeing to come back the following year.