ROANOKE, Va. – Teachers and staff at Roanoke City Public Schools will receive a significant pay raise next school year.
The change is a part of the district’s nearly $30 million budget increase which was approved at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
“Most of all, paying our employees and attracting and retaining them. That has been a mantra of this board,” said chairperson, Lutheria Smith.
Next year’s budget will be $27.9 million more than this year’s. The bulk of the funds will be coming from the state.
“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 finding employees is more competitive. There are currently 31 vacant teaching positions in the district.
“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.
Other changes in the preliminary budget include hiring more teachers, purchasing new textbooks and anticipating a cost increase in food and transportation.
“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.