CHRISTIASBURG, Va. –
Erin Bull teaches fifth grade at Christiansburg Elementary School.
She said she lives paycheck to paycheck.
“Right now I rent because I can't afford to put money together for a down payment,” Bull said.
Spokeswoman Brenda Drake said school Superintendent Mark Miear wants to help educators such as Bull.
So he's asking the county to increase the current budget by more than $2 million.
“More than $2 million of that is going straight into teacher salaries to give our teachers a 1.5 percent pay increase,” Drake said.
As a result of past pay freezes, many employees’ salaries are not in line with their years of service.
“We have teachers with the same amount of experience being paid different levels,” Drake said.
“We're about 20 percent lower than Salem, and about 5 percent lower than Radford city, Bull said.
Tracy Mathis' 13-year old son attends Christiansburg middle school.
She supports the teachers.
“The teachers help my son with everything. They help him meet his goals and all his expectations,” Mathis said.
Even with the salary increase, Drake said the school system will still be behind other school systems.
“But it's one step in getting us closer to having a more competitive salary and helping us recruit better teachers,” Drake said.
The next step will be for the Board of Supervisors to approve the budget in the beginning of February.