Tuesday, February 28, 2006 :::
The Henrico school system is getting a healthy funding increase under the School Board's proposed budget. But one thing really stands out:
Also included is a 4 percent pay increase for all eligible school system employees. A teacher salary scale adjustment would increase starting teachers' salaries by 6.5 percent and allow for increases for teachers at the top of the scale.
So the County is going to raise wages across the board. At the same time, the state is proposing to raise teachers' salaries by either 3 or four percent.
Are these increases additive? If so, then we are all in the wrong line of work.
Of course, the teachers' union rep is beside herself with glee:
Sherri Arnold, vice president of the Henrico Education Association, said after last night's vote that teachers are "pleased and excited about the recommendation on starting teachers' salaries."
I do not doubt that. But of greater parochial concern for me is what the district intends to do about renovations at my son's elementary school. Bond money set aside for the project five years ago now seems to be inadequate to cover all the planned changes. So, they are being scaled back. In the meantime, the campus trailer park where older students are warehoused may become semi-permanent.
Parental questioning of the situation -- like when construction will begin, what the plans are, exactly, why aren't background checks going to be performed on the construction workers, how long are the trailers going to be in place -- is met with either indifference or denial.
There seems to be a lot of money sloshing around somewhere in the school budget. Just not where it was promised.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 2/28/2006