Official pleads for teacher pay hikesPublished 10:59am Saturday, March 16, 2013
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
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Citing instances of outdated technology causing phone and computer systems to fail, Baker said, “Technology has reached a crisis level and the gap is unacceptable.”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.