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Pay raise in store for Richmond Public Schools teachers and staff

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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.


  • Manalishi.

    So this pittance is supposed to help richmond compete with Chesterfield and Hanover,,,,how? Is the priority education or payrolls?

  • BO

    They should bring the scores of their students up before they get a dime.RPS is a disgrace and an example of getting something for nothing.a lesson we are already seeing the fruits of.

  • Glen Allen

    I think they should go back to performance raises, as this rewards the teachers that do well, and encourages those that do not, to look so elsewhere else, or try harder. If their wages are currently 3% the statewide average (including location factor), then they should all get the raises now, but all future raises should then be performance based. I also think that the performance raises should be available every year, just as they are now for the Superintendent.

    • Manalishi.

      Agreed. However, it would be a failure to give a raise for success without giving a penalty for failure. Let’s not pretend that there aren’t thousands of college grads that can’t get their app through to teach. At the same time, these localities are granting emergency waivers to wannabe teachers who did could not pass the basic test.

      Don’t give a raises to deadbeats. Reward success, terminate failure. Or the system (children) fail too.

  • John Richmond

    RPS teachers work as hard as anybody. They deserve this raise. The problem with most performance-based systems is that most of the metrics aupposedly measuring teacher performance are mostly influenced by luck. Now, as an RPS teacher I’d be willing to give up my raise so that support staff can be paid more, and retirees can afford their health plans.

  • Tom Hartman

    Thanks John Richmond. You are a great stand for equity. I’m sceptical that shorting support staff and retirees to benefit active teachers is as smart as it appears on the surface. Aside from that, I applaud the school board and Dr. Bedden for their excellent work on the budget.

  • John Richmond

    Thanks Tom – I was thinking particularly about teaching assistants, who I’ve had in my classroom, and folks like custodians. We all work equally hard and are valuable in raising the whole child. We all remember a custodian in our school who did more than just clean. They were an extra set of eyes and a hidden source of encouragement for us.

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