Local School District Seeking More Money For Teachers

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

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SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Shenandoah County Public School employees are not satisfied with their jobs or the compensation.

In fact, 5 percent more employees are leaving for other opportunities than last year.

Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley acknowledges that teachers need to be paid more and get better benefits.

Compared to the surrounding school systems, Shenandoah County ranks sixth out of seven and Raley said it has been that way for the past decade.

He said that more than half of the teachers in the district have been teaching for less than 10 years.

"We owe it to our students to be able to attract the most talented teachers that we can. It's very difficult to do that with the salaries that we're providing. We know that we're not going to be able to fix this overnight. We're setting a goal that we can accomplish over time," said Raley.

Shenandoah County Middle School teacher Jamie Nichols is frustrated because her salary has risen just $3,000 in eight years.

Nichols said there is so much teacher turnover because of a lack of advancement opportunities.

"You feel stagnant. I am a way better teacher than I was my first year, but I don't make that much more. So I think that the initiative to keep pushing yourself, you want people to do that in their jobs, especially when you're teaching children. That's like an internal drive that I have to have because it's not externally motivated at all," said Nichols.

Raley will present his budget proposal on Thursday in an open forum at 5:30 p.m. in the county government center.

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