Montgomery County School leaders ask for all-employee raise - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Montgomery County School leaders ask for all-employee raise

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VA -

The Montgomery County School Superintendent Brenda Blackburn made a passionate argument to the Board of Supervisors asking them to step up and make education a top priority.

Blackburn repeated several times that this is a 'reality needs-based budget' and we can't skimp when it comes to our children's future.

"What you value, you have to pay for," Blackburn says. "In this instance, because the state has decreased their level of funding, it comes back to the community, that if education is important, than you're going to have to fund it."

Now the total budget request is $3.56 million, with $1.6 million of that going toward giving all employees a 2% raise.

Governor Bob McDonnell proposed a 2% raise, but Blackburn says that proposal is deceptive because it only includes about 47% of Montgomery County employees. That's why school leaders want to include everyone.

Another big question going into the meeting was whether the school would ask for money to help renovate more schools in the county.

School leaders only asked for additional money to pay for operational costs for the new Blacksburg and Auburn High Schools.

Another large chunk of the budget, more than $550,000, is going toward meeting the requirement of the Virginia Retirement System.

"Teachers haven't had a raise in a number of years," Montgomery County School Board Chairman, Wendell Jones says. "It's another difficult budget year."

The topic of security did come up and the superintendent says the school is working with local law enforcement to enhance security, but nothing was budgeted for the 2013-2014 school year.

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