Chesterfield leaders approve teacher raise amid staffing shortages

Longer school days for Chesterfield students
Posted at 11:12 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 09:59:00-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A pay raise is on the way for teachers in Chesterfield as the district is facing 200 vacancies, according to officials.

A district-hired consulting company also found the top reason surveyed teachers are leaving is because of pay. Documents show Chesterfield teachers' salaries were also lower than other neighboring school districts.

On Wednesday night, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors approved a budget that includes a 7.5% teacher raise for the next school year. It raises the starting salary for teachers from $46,000 to $49,480. It also adds similar adjustments to other school employees.

“The raise is great news. Anytime we see an increase in terms of giving us a better chance of having high-quality educators in the classroom that’s very important,” said Dr. Ben Pearson-Nelson is the PTA President of the Chesterfield County Council.

He has been pushing initiatives for this change for some time. He believes if the district wants to continue to be a top education spot the board needs to invest in schools.

Board of Supervisors member Kevin Carroll agrees. He was elected to the board in 2019 and feels the district has great teachers and said the district wants to retain them to get them to stay for their whole careers.

“We hope what we put in place will put us in the competitive ranges we needed to be in to compete in the markets we need to be in central Virginia,” Carroll said.

Carroll said while he can’t fix what other previous boards or boards of supervisors did, he will do what he can moving forward.

“This is not something, okay, we did it and done. This is something we have to make sure we’re maintaining for the future,” he said.

Some parents are also taking issue that the board didn’t fully fund the district's overall budget request. The board of supervisors said they gave more than in years past.

However, they were not able to fund $8.5 million of the request due to cuts in other areas.

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