School Board Proposes Teacher Bonus

The Clarke County School Board passed a budget resolution last night paving the way for a compensation boost for school employees. If approved by the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, school staff could see a one to two percent one-time salary bonus in fiscal year 2012 pending the outcome of budget deliberations in Richmond over the coming days. The move comes after weeks of budget debate between school officials seeking increased resources for schools and Clarke County supervisors who have pledged to hold the line on tax increases in the face of the “Great Recession”.

The School Board formally approved its budget last night after a public hearing in which no members of the public spoke. As with previous budget hearings, last night’s meeting saw only a few members of the public in attendance.

Despite the general public’s lack of interest in last night’s proceedings, Clarke County Public Schools administration and the Clarke County Education Association have kept steady pressure on the School Board to provide teachers with some form of financial increase arguing that neighboring jurisdictions are drawing away Clarke County teaching staff with higher wages. The lack of a pay increase for teachers over the last three budget cycles has been cited as jeopardizing Clarke County Public Schools ability to provide a world class education to students.

At last night’s meeting, school board member Robina Bouffault (White Post) offered a budget amendment to the Board of Supervisors requesting the General Fund Balance designation for Fiscal Year 2009 carryover be utilized to fund “increases for operating and capital.”

By including “operating expenses,” Bouffault’s amendment requests that the Supervisors deviate from their long-time practice of restricting budget carry-over funds to one-time capital expenditures only.

Bouffault’s amendment further requested, “if the Commonwealth Budget results in decreased expenditure or increased revenue, thereby resulting in decreased need for local funds, then the Fiscal Year 2009 carryover designation would be restored,” and “that if funds remain from the additional Commonwealth Revenue, or in FY 09 Carryover designation, then a further appropriation, in an amount to be determined, may be requested from these sources for use as a one-time increase in employee compensation.”

However, the likelihood of Bouffault’s amendment translating into a salary bonus for teaching staff revolves around Supervisor approval of $319K in school budget funds over last year’s level. If the Commonwealth of Virginia comes through with additional funding for local education, a strong likelihood school board members said last night, the budget resolution will allow the school board to make the teacher pay adjustment.

“The funds will be used for a one-time compensation bonus,” Bouffault said. “A one to two percent pay adjustment is possible contingent on what the state decides to give us.”

Bouffault’s amendment was passed unanimously by the School Board and will be forwarded along with CCPS Superintendent, Dr. Michael Murphy’s $24.9M budget request to the Board of Supervisors. The school budget will be presented to the Supervisors on March 1st at 7:00 pm at the Joint Government Center in Berryville, Virginia.

FY 2012 Clarke County Public Schools Requested Budget

Comments

  1. Travis Goodwin says:

    Any funding request built on the loss of positions is not a “level funding” request. This county needs to step up and invest in its kids and those who work every day to prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow. If we don’t do that, then we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

    Clarke County ranks in the top 20% of localities in per capita income, but is #114 out of 132 divisions in per pupil expenditures. That’s not right. My kids, my nephew, my neighbors’ kids are worth more than less-than-average investments.

    • Jeremy Carter says:

      Excellent points Travis.

      I’m wondering the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s GREAT that teachers get a bonus…everyone knows they deserve it by far as they are underpaid….but this after cutting 8 jobs? Or was it 7.5 jobs?

      Kind of weird to me……………….

      • And a bonus is just that….a bonus. One time payment, nothing to do with your salary. Question though…Is this one of those issues like the Federal Government saying no pay raises, but you still get a step increase or a promotion to another level increase? Meaning, are the teachers still getting an increase based on years of experience?

        • Travis Goodwin says:

          Nope…no teachers or employees have moved up any steps based on years of service. They’ve had NO increases in 3+ years.

    • It’s the BOS that won’t give them the money to do what’s right.

      Dump all of them.

    • If they are worth more than you and your neighbors are free to open YOUR wallets and contribute more. The sense of entitlement permeates ever level of our society.

      In the state of Virginia education spending grew 6 times faster then enrollment over the last decade. Clarke County’s enrollment is dropping.

      http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2011/feb/24/bob-mcdonnell/gov-bob-mcdonnell-says-education-funding-grew-six-/

      Due to Clarke County’s small population per capita income can be easily skewed by outliers in the data set.

      • We’re not talking about cutting staff positions. We all realize with a declining enrollment, there will be a decline in the number of staff needed.

        We’re talking about teachers who have not even had a Cost of Living Adjustment in 3 years.

        Don’t try to confuse the different issues.

      • Education is not an entitlement! It is a necessity for this nation to remain competitive on the world stage!

        The selfish and dim-witted concept of parents, rather than all citizens, paying for the proper education of our future generations is ludicrous!

        Since Steve cannot compose a proper sentence (“then” rather than “than”) it’s clear why he does not want a better educated populous. He would look worse than he does now.

        • Interested bysitter says:

          While your support for the cause is great, insulting Steve for a grammatical slip-up undermines your point and only makes you look petty.

      • Interested bysitter says:

        So, the governor actually was true about something? OK…you fail to acknowledge what was stated in the very article you cite – increased funding was required by SOL mandates handed down by Richmond and other initiatives (Algebra readiness, PreK readiness programs, etc.). Virginia has traditionally underfunded its programs, and the VRS – and borrowed $650 million from VRS to balance its budget. McDonnel’s answer was to make public employees pay some of their retirement, without the benefit of a pay increase (pay 5%, but get a 2% increase = a -3% hit)…and the loan to VRS wouldn’t be started to be paid back until 2013 – AFTER he is out of office.

        Bemoaning the fact that the Virginina constitution requires the state and localities (NOT just those with children, but the ENTIRE locality) to provide a “free and appropriate education” for its children is laughable. It is incumbent on this community to provide the funding necessary to do that and to meet the myriad mandates from Richmond and DC at the same time; it is better when Richmond and DC back up their mandates with the requisite funding, but…well…we see where that has gone. It’s nice that the teachers and staff “might” see a 1%-2% one-time bonus IF the state’s revenues materialize; but, it’s sad that this is coming after slicing some $2 million out of the budget and eliminating some 10 positions over the past 2 years.

      • I don’t disagree that spending is out of control and I don’t believe anyone can justify 6x spending with declining enrollment, but how is this the fault of teachers or other school employees? They don’t work any less hard because they have 1 or 2 fewer students per class this year than last.

        Apples and oranges.

  2. From the budget….

    “Lottery Revenue. The per pupil amount of lottery proceeds was eliminated in FY 11. Lottery
    funds are now used to fund at-risk, early reading intervention, foster care, K-3 primary class size
    reduction, algebra readiness, the Virginia preschool initiative, the mentor teacher program, ISAEP,
    regional tuition, Career and Technical Education, English as a second language, remedial summer
    school, school breakfast, and a portion of the textbook payments. The state began using the lottery
    revenue to fund a multitude of programs with the FY 09 – FY 10 budget.”

    So, looks like the lottery money is now designated instead of giving it to localities to use where they think it would best serve their own students. hmmmm

    • Roger Long says:

      Lottery funds had been set aside previously to cover capital construction costs along with Literary Loan funds. The 2011 General Assembly played a shell game. Lottery funds were placed in the General Fund to replace money that, in essence, was ‘stolen’ for other purposes. And that state money appears to be lost forever. If a local school division has to repair a roof or upgrade its facilities, the community now has to ante up the money locally.
      The real effect was that the STATE now is using Lottery money for general purposes, and not for education. False advertising…a rip-off to the public!

  3. DAWN PRICE says:

    I FEEL IF WE START TO USE TEXT BOOKS NOT WOORKSHEETS EVERY DAY THER WOULD BE A CUT HOW ABOUT STOP MAILING THE REPORT CARDS HOME . WE PARENT SUPLY PAPER PENCILS GLUE MARKERS TISSUES ZIP LOCK BAGGIES PAPER TOWLES SO FUGURE SOME OF THIS OUT .. WHY BUY TEXT BOOKS IF THEY ARE NOT USED ???? THE PAPER WAIST AT THE SCHOOL IS OUT OF OF THIS WORLD. WORK ON SOME OF THIS AND MAYBE WOULD LOOK A LITTLE BETTER JUST A SUGJESTION