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Raise for teachers included in approved school budgets

Raise for teachers included in approved school budgets


It looks like teachers in the city as well as the county will be getting a bump in pay.

Waynesboro School Board approved a $39,582,833 budget for 2020-2021 on Thursday night, which includes a raise for teachers.

“The budget I presented to you in February included a 4% average salary increase for employees,” said Waynesboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cassell. “Everyone may not get 4%, but most do.”

The final budget adopted by the General Assembly, according to Cassell, provided Waynesboro Schools with $230,000 of additional funding above Gov. Ralph Northam’s budget.

Of the $330,000 in surplus allocated to the school system, Cassell said that $220,000 was put toward reinstating positions that were eliminated last year due to a budget shortfall.

Teachers and staff were not laid off at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, however, as individuals retired or left Waynesboro Schools their positions were eliminated in order to avoid layoffs.

Three instructional aids will be added to Waynesboro Schools’ payroll for 2020-2021.

Restored to the school system’s payroll are positions for one elementary music teacher, one elementary math specialist, one high school teacher, one teacher at Kate Collins Middle School and two elementary school teacher positions “that we believe will be needed for enrollment increase.”

The school system currently has 3,035 students enrolled.

Additionally, Cassell said, a part-time speech services position will be added that will become full-time later.

Teacher aids will have their salaries increase from 180 days to 181 to compensate for their work during school evening events.

Cassell said that if the state amends its budget for 2020-2021, then Waynesboro Schools may also have to amend its budget.

“It appears that COVID-19 could have an impact on state revenue, especially sales tax and other sources of revenue,” Cassell said.

If so, Waynesboro Schools will adjust its budget accordingly, he said.

County educators get small pay hike

The Augusta County School Board approved a balanced budget of $113,689,497 for 2020-2021 on Thursday night.

Included in the budget are 2% raises for teachers in accordance with the General Assembly’s approved budget.

Augusta County Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric W. Bond said Friday the budget includes funds for lights to be installed on one softball field at a county high school, two new teacher positions, funds for middle school sports and support for regional programs.

“Obviously, our goal was to give a 4% [raise], but the revenues were not there,” Bond said.

The school board is happy to give teachers a 2% raise, Bond said, but it wishes it could have given teachers more.

“I wish we had a better revenue picture,” Bond said.

Despite the revenue picture, the school system was able to pay employees and move forward with projects, such as installing lights on one softball field and funding middle school sports.

“Make no mistake, we cut nearly $5 million from the budget [to balance],” Bond said.

Cutting in order to balance a budget is “never fun,” Bond said, “but we have a balanced budget at this point.”

Bond said he is “grateful we’re able to move forward with a couple of our initiatives.”

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