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State requires training for Fayette superintendent, HR chief


Superintendent Demetrus Liggins in 2021.

Superintendent Demetrus Liggins in 2021.

mdorsey@herald-leader.com

Following a state investigation that found violations, Fayette County Superintendent Demetrus Liggins and school district Chief Human Resources Officer Jennifer Dyar must take two hours of training in proper hiring practices.

For the second time since June, the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability that investigates violations of education law and regulations has found that Fayette schools violated its own policy by not properly posting job vacancies in school and work areas.

More recently, there were violations in hiring an employee, the OEA found in late August.

An Aug. 31 OEA investigative report obtained by the Herald-Leader under the Open Records Act found that training for Liggins and Dyar was “necessary” not only because of violations of the posting policy, but because there were issues with the employment of a groundskeeper — through no fault of the groundskeeper.

“In summary, he was hired for a position for which he did not apply, that was not posted during the time frame in which he applied and was hired, and therefore simply did not exist,” the report said. “This adequately supports the resolution for training about hiring practices.”

The report also said a food service worker was hired without the position being posted and without “application for the position,” likely due to a shortage of workers.

The district violated state law and its own policy, the report said.

In addition to the training, the school district has to send OEA all posted vacancies for August and September 2022. Job postings have to adhere to state law and district policy, the report said.

The Fayette County Public Schools has amended its job posting policy so that a central job registry and posting on the district website is now required instead of more widespread posting. The OEA report said that didn’t change the fact that the district was previously non-compliant.

The training must be completed by Oct. 1.

In response, Fayette school district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall reiterated Friday some of what district officials said after the June investigative report was released.

“We appreciate the Office of Education Accountability for alerting us to an outdated policy that said paper copies of every job opening would be posted in every breakroom in the district’s more than 70 work locations,” she said.

The policy was revised in June to reflect current practice, said Deffendall.

“We will continue to advertise vacant positions on the district website, which is accessible anywhere with internet, and provide opportunities for all members of the public to visit our application center to use the computers there to view vacancies and receive in-person assistance with the application process,” she said.

This story was originally published September 23, 2022 4:02 PM.

Staff writer Valarie Honeycutt Spears covers K-12 education, social issues and other topics. She is a Lexington native with southeastern Kentucky roots.





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