Hanover teachers getting pay raise

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

HANOVER COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Some good news for teachers in Hanover County. The latest budget for next school year is in and they could be getting a raise. This is the first pay increase for teachers in two years.

Education is usually one of those political sacred cows that is one of the last areas to see cuts. Hanover schools has had its budget cut three years in a row, but a bump in next year's school budget will likely mean two percent raises for teachers.

Michael Goodrich-Stuart is a teacher at Hanover High School. He says a budget increase and pay raises are not something he's seen in a while.

"It's a rarity for the last several years," he said. "The last several years we've had to make some significant cuts."

Now teachers are getting their first raise in two years. Something most people say they could use.

"It helps," Goodrich-Stuart said. "Particularly when you think about how costs aren't going down in other ways. If you can get two percent, hey, what the heck? It's better than a sharp stick in the eye."

Home values have slipped recently, leading to less property taxes for the county and less money for schools.

Now a bump in sales tax revenues even before the holiday rush is helping to replenish the school's coffers. Teachers say they're finally being rewarded for surviving some lean budget years.

"We took some hard knocks the last couple years," he said. "But now that's coming back to pay off in benefits."

No layoffs will be needed either. 250 teachers were either laid off or left without being replaced in the last two years.

The Hanover County School's budget for next school year will go up by a total of $10.8 million. That's more than five percent higher than last year.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.