FRONT ROYAL -- The Warren County School Board continued to discuss the findings of the compensation and benefits study during a special work session on Wednesday.

The study, which was conducted by Paypoint HR, focused on the salary and staffing recommendations for the  school district. Superintendent Greg Drescher said that the study was also conducted to help determine where the district needs to make improvements to avoid losing employees to neighboring school districts.

“We have had two decades of not keeping up,” he said. “Now, as our economy is stronger, other local school systems are making significant gains with compensation. When we do make headway, compared to ourselves, we continue to fall further behind compared to our neighbors.”

Drescher said that the district is currently in its seventh consecutive year of needing to hire 60 or more instructional staff. He also said that the district has had to make cuts to its operating budget in order to give any salary increases.

“Keeping our personnel numbers low means we have far fewer teachers than we need to man our programs, support our students, and create schools that offer excellent opportunities for all students,” he said.

Drescher said that the district worked with Paypoint to develop a plan to help stem the flow of staff leaving the area. He said that a new pay scale for teachers will affect teachers ranging from those with no experience to those with 30 years.

Drescher said that the plan is to try to roll out pay increases in phases. The district will focus on teachers who have 11 to 25 years of experience first, followed by teachers with zero to 10 years and then teachers with 26 to 30 years. Any of those pay increases will be based on available funding.

Drescher said that the district is also looking into adjusting the salary scale for non-instructional employees in Warren County. According to the study, 613 of the 787 full-time employees who work for the Warren County school system are recommended for pay increases. Drescher said the current plan is to increase salaries for non-instructional employees by also adjusting the salary scale.

Drescher said that if an employee's current pay is already within the proposed new salary scale, they will be making the same under the new scale.  

“This study is not just about paying people more money,” Drescher said. “It is about being competitive, strengthening our schools, and ensure we are graduating as many highly successful young people as possible.”

You may read the full compensation and benefits study here: https://tinyurl.com/y3u9jhpq.

The School Board will present its plan to increase staff salaries to the Warren County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Contact Donald Lambert at dlambert@nvdaily.com