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May 2--  The Montgomery County Board of Education is going to court in an effort to block a decision by the Georgia Board of Education to reinstate three  teachers who lost their jobs as part of a reduction in force (RIF).

The state board said the decision last year to release Lisa Parker, Allie Rhodes and Marilyn Haymans was "arbitrary and capricious."

However, Montgomery County School Superintendent Randy Rodgers said standard reduction in force policy was followed in deciding which teachers would be terminated.

"The RIF procedure shall include the professional expertise, effectiveness and overall job performance of individual employees as reflected in annual evaluations as well as the Superintendent's own observations and knowledge.  Only where demonstrated competence and expertise are equal among employees shall other factors such as tenure status, level of certification and length of continuous service with the board be considered in order to make recommendations regarding the termination or downgrading of an employee's position," Rodgers told the board.

The school board held a called meeting Tuesday night and voted to appeal the state school board's ruling in Montgomery County Superior Court.

The Superintendent says it's unfortunate that the teachers had to lose their jobs, but claims the school system's financial status made it necessary.

"It was necessary to take action in order to make necessary changes to our budget by decreasing expenditures to be more in line with the revenues we had to work with.  Considering that prior management had operated the school district in deficit financing for the two previous audited school years, it was incumbent on me to make decisions that would correct this practice and move our finanicial conditions to the point that necessary employees could be fairly compensated and that school children couold receive the education they require and deserve," Rodgers said.