Parents Concerned About State of Danville Schools After Major Changes

Danville, VA -- The superintendent of Danville Public Schools is stepping down. Dr. Edward Newsome made the announcement in Monday night's school board meeting according to the acting superintendent. He cited personal reasons. Newsome will receive $160,000 in compensation.

Dr. Newsome was only Superintendent for one year, and his early departure has a lot of parents concerned. Also, Danville Public Schools are trying to fill 74 teacher positions for this upcoming year. That's much more than they usually have at this time, leaving parents wondering about the fate of their child's education.

Dr. Edward Newsome's picture outside the Danville School Board's office still stands but his title as Superintendent doesn't.

"The School Board did approve the resignation," said Edward Polhamus, School Board Member.

As of Monday night, the School Board has appointed former Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathy Osborne to temporarily take Newsome's place. This is just the most recent significant change over the past few years. Danville public schools have faced school closures, budget issues, parental complaints about disciplinary issues, and now a need to fill several dozen teacher positions leaving parents like Petrina Carter concerned.

"It is disturbing because what it points to is a school board that doesn't have vision for the city," said Carter.

Carter watched her four children go through the Danville school system. Now she's worried her 13-year-old stepson may not get the same quality education.

"It's a little scary right now for the city of Danville," said Carter.

Osborne explains they have about 20 more openings for teachers than usual at this point in the year.

"Anytime we are looking for teachers it concerns me because everyone is looking for teachers," said Osborne.

However, she tells us they will find qualified staff. And Polhamus says they have everything under control.

"I believe that we have the right kinds of people in place in the schools and in the central office to not miss a beat as we move forward to our successful year," said Polhamus.

The new members of the School Board will start at their next meeting on July 8th. Polhamus says that's when they will start to plan towards a long term future for the schools.

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