Archived Story

Official pleads for teacher pay hikes

Published 10:59am Saturday, March 16, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight Education Association President Stephanie Bailey compared teachers to soldiers during the school board’s public hearing on Thursday.

She was one of four people to comment on the proposed $63.7 million operating budget for fiscal year 2013-14. Superintendent Katrise Perera first presented it during a board meeting on March 1, with an emphasis that it is proposed. As the budget stands, though, there is also an issue of a $5.2 million shortfall.

“The teachers are the ones in the trenches, and there’s nothing in the budget for them,” Bailey said. “We’d like to see some initiatives cut back, so teachers can get something. There’s nothing – but more work.”

She added she wants to see teachers get a level of pay that makes them happy to come work with children.

Speaking as the mother of a child at Windsor High and Carrsville Elementary schools, Donna Spivey asked the board to support the proposed budget.

“I understand that times are tough,” she said. “We value education, our children and teachers. I believe if we don’t keep our budget, it’s going to chip away at our future. I believe we have great schools and great teachers.”

Ellen Baker and Andrea Stephens, each with children in Carrollton Elementary, said they support the proposed budget.

Citing instances of outdated technology causing phone and computer systems to fail, Baker said, “Technology has reached a crisis level and the gap is unacceptable.”

“Safety first,” said Stephens, who wants security cameras, school buses and buildings to get the necessary funding.

The board is expected to vote on the budget during a meeting at the school board office at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 27.



    The title is misleading in this article and should be revised. The “official” you are speaking of is Ms. Bailey and she is not a school division official. She is a union representative and spoke selfishly at the last board meeting. If I were a teacher in IoW, I would be embarrassed by her plea. Yes, I agree that teachers need raises but when I spoke to my Hardy district school board representative – he shared that teachers in Isle of Wight are some of the highest paid in the region. He shared that they last got a raise in 2012 and that last year got a 5% hike in pay for VRS. Now, I am sure our teachers deserve more money but during these tight budgetary times focusing on the true needs of our students is more important. It makes me wonder, if Ms. Bailey and those in the teachers union that she represent are in it for the money or the kids? I certainly hope it is the latter of the two.

    On another note – I viewed the proposed budget by the superintendent, as I support it, I was appalled at the lack of support by the Board of Supervisors. Folks, we have been mislead by the BOS. They all publicly will state that they support public education but have consistently balanced their budget by depriving our school children. As citizens, we should all be concerned and prepare ourselves to let them (especially Darden, Bailey, & Casteen) know that valuing education in words and in actions will in the end benefit this county. Schools probably needed to tighten up their financial belts but they have lost almost 10% ($5.8million) in funding and no other county entity has a negative funding percentage since 2009 – according to the county’s funding data. In fact, all other entities have double digit increases in funding since 2009. It is time to step up and fight for the future of this county. The time is NOW!

    We have good teachers, a school board that is willing to put the needs of kids first, and a superintendent that has her own kids enrolled in IoW schools, which allows her to lead with a parental outlook. Folks, this is a prime opportunity to improve upon what we have and help develop Isle of Wight a true “community of choice.” If we are not more outspoken, we will find that there are BOS members or county administrators who truly are not looking out for the kids in IoW.

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    • Sinoptik

      To be clear about the “5% pay hike”, that was for grandfathered state employees to offset the 5% all under VRS must now pay into their retirement. Any new state employees take the loss.

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