What are the chances teachers will get a raise next year?
Area school systems gear up for another tough budget year
It is a tough time to be a teacher.
Many haven't received a raise in several years and that trend may continue.
Local school systems are already starting to crunch numbers for the upcoming budget season. Administrators are already concerned.
Preliminary numbers show Roanoke County is facing a $4,800,000 budget shortfall.
Superintendent Lorraine Lange acknowledges teachers haven't received a raise in nearly four years.
"We would like to do everything we possibly can to try to give them something they deserve. That's a long time to go without a raise," said Lange.
In the last four years, Roanoke County has closed 3 schools and eliminated 200 positions. None were actual layoffs.
Lange says it is too early to say what will be on the chopping block this time around.
"Everything again is on the table as always. We'll see what happens from there," said Lange.
Teachers in Roanoke City haven't receive a raise in early four years as well.
When asked if employees may get more money next year School Board Chairman David Carson told News 7, "Yes, there's a chance.
But it won't be easy.
Preliminary numbers show Roanoke City is looking at a $6,600,000 budget shortfall next year.
In the last few years, the school system has closed four schools and CITY School. It also eliminated 166 positions, discontinued healthcare for retirees, privatized transportation, and privatized nurses.
Chairman David Carson says the school system has already had painful cuts. "I've said before and I'll say again that we've cut way past the muscle and we're into bone now," said Carson. He's talking about personnel but says it is too early to say whether there will be any layoffs.
Pittsylvania County Schools is expecting a $3,700,000 budget shortfall next year.
Teachers in Pittsylvania County haven't had a raise in nearly four years. Superintendent James McDaniel says they won't be getting one next year because of the tight budget.
McDaniel says the school system has cut $11,000,000 from its budget in the last three years. He doesn't know what else to cut.
Pulaski County Schools and Lynchburg Schools told News 7 it is too early in the process to say what their budget shortfall will be next year.
Teachers in Lynchburg haven't had a raise since 2008. However, they recently received a 2% bonus.