Franklin County Public Schools ready to welcome students back

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 10:31 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Wednesday morning, students will once again roam the Franklin County Public Schools halls. Like many school systems across southwest Virginia, FCPS used the summer to bring in new teachers for the school year.

“We’ve hired 80 new staff for the upcoming year. We are super excited that they chose to really join an already amazing faculty and staff in Franklin County,” said Gregg Cuddy, director of human resources, at Monday night’s school board meeting.

It’s been a long process, but FCPS met many of its needs heading into the 2022-2023 school year.

“Mr. Cuddy, who is our director of HR and his staff, they worked really hard like other school divisions to go out and hire teachers and other staff members,” said Dr. Bernice Cobbs, superintendent of FCPS.

80 new teachers is slightly higher than past years, Cobbs told WDBJ7. She added the need is because of teachers retiring and resigning for various reasons.

Despite all the new faces coming into the school system, Cobbs said they continue to focus on providing the highest level of learning possible.

“Education in Franklin County Public Schools is still at the forefront,” said Cobbs.

A handful of teacher vacancies remain, including five in middle schools and four in high schools. FCPS has plans in place to still supplement daily learning.

“We have some long-term subs in some teacher vacancies, also we have staff members, especially in the content area of the high school level, where teachers might be teaching an additional block,” said Cobbs.

At Monday night’s Franklin County School Board meeting, it was also unanimously approved to up substitute pay.

“Our goal is to obviously attract and increase our substitute teacher pool. We hope that a rate increase will do just that,” said Cuddy, at Monday night’s meeting.

Substitutes with a four-year degree go from making $100 a day to $130 a day, substitutes with a four-year degree as a long-term sub will go from making $125 a day to $150 a day, a substitute without a degree will go from making $85 a day to $110 a day, long-term substitute teachers without a degree will go from making $95 a day to $125 a day, FCPS retired teachers as long-term substitutes will go from making $140 a day to $160 a day and substitute administrators will go from making $125 a day to $150 a day.

Once FCPS received the new state budget, they realized they had extra funding. FCPS moved that money to fuel costs in their budget. The extra funding allowed FCPS to double the bonuses they were already planning to give staff. That bonus moves from $1,000 to $2,000 for full time staff and from $500 to $1,000 for part time staff.

“We just wanted to show all of our staff that we value them very much and appreciate their time with us because the last few years have not been easy,” said Cobbs.

The School Board unanimously approved the increased bonuses Monday, which will be dispersed in December of this year. FCPS also received a grant for bus drivers and nurses. Bus drivers, bus monitors and nurses will earn an extra $1,500 by the end of the school year. To qualify for the additional bonuses, each will need to have been employed at FCPS by Jan. 1, 2023.

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