Roanoke, Virginia – Beginning with the next school year, teachers and other staff members at Roanoke City Public Schools will get a large pay raise.
Following Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the district approved a roughly $30 million budget increase, which included this change.
“Most of all, paying our employees and attracting and retaining them. That has been a mantra of this board,” said chairperson, Lutheria Smith.
The budget for next year will be $27.9 million more than the budget for this year. Most of the money will come from the government.
“Primarily from the general assembly. Fortunately, the state has more money this year than many recent years available and fortunately are really looking at K-12 education,” said the district’s chief financial officer, Kathleen Jackson.
The pay raise comes at a time when it is increasingly difficult to find qualified staff. In the district, there are now 31 teaching positions that are available.
“We were falling behind. It’s really hard to find staff in any area right now so we really need to make sure we are paying our people appropriately and staying competitive in that area,” said Jackson.
Additionally, employing more teachers, purchasing new textbooks, and anticipating a rise in the cost of food and transportation have all been included in the preliminary budget.
“We really show our employees and our teachers by making sure we are reducing class sizes for instance and that we are investing in professional learning. And certainly, the salary increases as well,” said Superintendent Verletta White.