WAYNESBORO -- Members of the Waynesboro School Board unanimously voted to give school employees their first raise in nearly five years. Some teachers said it's long overdue.
Paula Sherrill has taught French class at Waynesboro High School for 31 years. She said she's very happy to see the 3 percent raise pass, even though she feels it's not quite enough.
“Should it be more? Well yeah, obviously we all feel like we work so diligently. Everyone in society will tell you that teachers don't make really what they should be earning. But we all very realistically understand that,” she said.
Even though that sentiment is understood, Waynesboro lost several teachers to nearby school systems which pay a better wage. That's why school board members felt showing they cared was important.
Mary Kane, a long time third grade teacher at Berkeley Glenn Elementary, said it's been difficult.
“I'm committed to this community. This is where I raised my family. This is actually the school that our children went to. For me, Waynesboro is where I wanted to be. If I were at a different place in my career, I can assure you I would be looking at other options,” she said.
Waynesboro schools used to be known as a place teachers wanted to be with high pay and a great location near big universities. School board members have a long way to go if they want to reclaim that appeal.
“We've fallen behind to probably the lowest paid school system in the area,” said Sherrill.
Kane said she wished the raise was a little more.
“Three percent is something that almost was standard before five or six years ago. To me, five percent would have been nice,” she said.
While three percent might not be the best raise, it's better than nothing. School board members hope the raise will help ensure Waynesboro teachers stay with the school system.
The raise is possible because of cuts to the supply and maintenance budgets. Four full time positions will be eliminated through attrition.
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