Pay raise in store for Richmond Public Schools teachers and staff

Posted at 10:54 PM, Mar 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-02 09:38:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Richmond Public Schools board members approved a pay raise for teachers and staff Friday as part of the Superintendent $262.8 million budget.

Last month, several former teachers from Martin Luther King Middle schools reached out to CBS 6, complaining about frustrations at the school, and saying that they had quit in the middle of the year.

Chair on the Richmond School Board, Donald Coleman, says the board is fully aware of the high teacher turnover rate in some city schools.

"Let's be realistic,” said Coleman. "We know this can help us retain some teachers."

The budget gives teachers a three percent pay raise for teachers and school support staff a two percent increase.

"We're in a competitive market with Chesterfield and Hanover.  So, we understood that,” Coleman said.

Diane Sickinger has been with Richmond Public schools for 18 years, teaching history and special education. Sickinger says that while her passion for teaching overrides most difficulties in the classroom, a bigger paycheck is important too.

"I think it's great.  I think we've needed one for a long time,” said Sickinger.

However, school leaders are now facing a nearly $5 million budget shortfall. The newly approved budget calls for cutting healthcare payments to retirees as well as not reimbursing for unused sick days.

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones is set to present his proposed budget in coming weeks.