Known to be two of the most prosperous counties in Virginia are Fairfax County and Prince William County. They have held their own very well, and their schools are nationally ranked as some of the best and wealthiest. But it is for this reason that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is probably going to decide to cut $10.8 million from the school system budgets of both counties to add it to other places of more need. The teachers of Prince William County Public Schools have not been granted a raise for three years in a row, and with the budget cutsproposed, Superintendent of the School Board, Steven Walts portends no raises coming to PWCS teachers until 2015.
How cruel is that? These teachers have worked hard to educate us and some have very low salaries, especially newer teachers. Is this really fair?
The gigantic cuts and frozen salaries anger teachers of the county to no end. It has gotten to the point where some teachers are protesting these terrible happenings by literally following their contracts: they come in at 7:15 (not a minute earlier) and leave at 2:15 (not a minute later). This means that if a student wants to stay after school to make up a test or ask for help from a teacher who is participating in the protest, they cannot make it up. This protest is going to be hurting the students more than the teachers.
Many teachers, before this situation erupted, would put the students first, as they would come inat around 7:00 to get ready for the day and leave at the latest sometimes 4:00, grading papers or helping students. The good will mission of the teacher, however, has declined dramatically in this county. At the end of the day, a teacher has to go home to his/her family, pay the bills, and take care of their kids, like any other worker. An abundance of teachers could use their yearly raise to make ends meet, but once again, their salary is frozen in place with nothing projecting it to go up any time soon.
I feel that the teachers have a very legitimate right to be upset. They chose this occupation so they could teach students, help students, and educate students on their topic of expertise, but now, their occupation of choice is turning into a struggle with the budget. Every teacher deserves a raise and I feel that though it is not beneficial to students for teachers to protest, I also know that these are still men and women who have to pay their bills somehow, which is going to be a problem especially for new teachers whose salaries are much lower. I think Governor McDonnell should seriously reconsider his attempts to cut the money from the school systems. He does not know how many people he is affecting with this one provision, but what more could you expect from a politician.