No Raises for Fairfax County Teachers

Despite support of school board, pay freeze not lifted

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    They often start their day dealing with a room full of excitable, sometimes unruly, children. And as if that isn’t hard enough, if one thing goes wrong, the whole day could go down hill from there.

    We’re talking about teachers of course. A lot of people believe teachers just don’t get paid enough for the job they do every day. In Fairfax County, Va., they’re dealing with larger classes and budget cuts. Now comes word again that Fairfax County supervisors won't support pay raises for teachers this year, or next year, the Washington Examiner reported.

    The school board wanted to lift a two-year pay freeze, voting last week to use $21 million federal stimulus funding for teacher compensation. But pay raises for the more than 20,000 eligible employees would cost $61 million. County supervisors said they’re not willing to cover the difference, the Washington Examiner reported. They said the money should be used to ease the loss of grants that will likely dry up by fiscal year 2012.

    Chairwoman Sharon Bulova defended the pay freeze, saying other public service workers including firefighters, park employees and police are also struggling with frozen salaries and that school employees should not expect special treatment. Another supervisor said the priority is to avoid layoffs and get through the recession.
     
    Fairfax County teachers haven’t received a pay increase since fiscal year 2009. Enrollment continues to skyrocket, but the budget has been cut by more than $50 million. The local teacher’s union is meeting this week and is encouraging all members to thank the school board for at least pushing for the pay raises.