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Franklin School Board hears request for higher pay

Published 12:01pm Saturday, February 23, 2013

BY ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
andrew.faison@tidewaternews.com

FRANKLIN—Franklin City Public School secretary Ann Duck hopes the 2013-14 budget includes raises to keep up with the increased cost of living.

“If it is not yet being considered, it is time for us to have a raise,” Duck, a 22-year-employee, told the school board during a Thursday public hearing on the budget. “Everything keeps going up; our taxes have gone up. Everything has gone up, but our salaries.”

Two percent raises are being considered — the first increase in four years. A first-year teacher is paid $37,800 annually.

The school district is looking at a preliminary budget with a $600,000 surplus.

“Right now where we are with the budget is that we have received requests from the departments and those were discussed during a budget work session with the school board,” said Franklin Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle. “Currently we are looking at what our carryover monies are, as well as what additional funds we could receive from the state.”

Under Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed budget, Franklin would receive $158,441 to help pay for raises for teachers, principals, guidance counselors and librarians. The city would have to provide $38,000.

“We don’t know where the exact federal funds fall at this particular time,” Belle said.

On March 31, the school division will receive the final student attendance numbers it needs for its budget.

“I know I speak for everyone in the system when I say we would like to see a raise,” Duck said. “I am a graduate of Franklin High School. My heart has always been here, and I have made my life passion to work for Franklin City Public Schools.”

The school board will have a budget work session on Tuesday, March 5, and plans to present the budget during its Thursday, March 21, meeting.

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