Letter to the Editor: Do not raise teacher salaries this year
The suggested allocation of funding for the Shenandoah County school year 2015/2016 includes an increase of $515,087 in operating funds and an additional increase of $797,788 for CIP [maintenance & improvements]. This should stay intact with no additional increase.
The School Board and superintendent’s desire to fund additional teacher salary increases [and add a pay scale adjustment i.e a second salary increase in the same year] while threatening to cut student programs under the guise of a “needs based budget” is a smokescreen for self-interest at the expense of both taxpayers and the real needs of the schools.
The fact is that Shenandoah County is second only to Frederick County in the amount of increase in starting salaries for teachers since 2010, increasing more than the other five counties in our area during the last five years. The requested salary increase[s] are not needed to maintain a comparable salary level with surrounding counties, nor affordable by a general population with a decreased ability to pay.
If the school budget is truly about the children, then I challenge Superintendent Jeremy Raley and the Shenandoah County School Board to not raise salaries this year and use the increased funding for the student programs the public asked to be funded at the public hearing on April 16. It is the School Board and superintendent that makes the allocations as to whether to spend the additional funds on increased compensation or needed student programs. Should these funds be misallocated, it is the superintendent’s and the School Board’s responsibility and they should be held accountable.
Cindy Bailey, Woodstock