Hanover teachers worry about approved budget cuts - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Hanover teachers worry about approved budget cuts

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HANOVER, VA (WWBT) -

Some big decisions were made over what to cut in the Hanover County's school budget. But some teachers say this now means more work for them without more pay and it's not only taking a toll on them, they say it can affect the students.

The school board had to cut $5.4 million and there was a lot on the line.

After six weeks of tough negotiating:

"I will enjoy relief very briefly, I will savor this for a brief moment then we will be right back on to it," said School Board Chair, Ann Gladstone.

The cuts include 16 teaching positions, no new school buses, .and an added class for teachers without extra pay.

School board members say they tried their best to keep the students best interest in mind. Teachers agree that students come first. The teachers in Hanover County are a proud bunch. But the truth is, they don't like some of the changes and fear it's going to hurt the kids.

One big concern: high school students must take an extra state mandated class next year, but teachers say, it's not a good idea.

"I think it's really going to be detrimental to the quality of education for the kids, it's going to be detrimental to student achievement, we're not going to be able to give students the individualized attention and that's so far what made Hanover schools great, having a great relationship with students and we want to see that continue," said Hanover High School teacher, Tom Connolly.

In addition, without any extra pay, teachers are left unhappy.

"The morale has steadily been declining in the last few years, and this year, it's just unbelievable…I'm devastated that they don't care," said Hanover High School teacher, Julie Kinsella.

Some teachers say their colleagues are looking for other jobs.

"And those who can't leave will be disgruntled, and I'm a father of three in the county, as a teacher I look at my job I've been doing for 19 years, I'm going to help kids the best I can," said Hanover High School teacher, Chris Pace.

To that, Gladstone says, they're going to work on that.

"We hear them, we hear them," said Gladstone.

Gladstone says a focus group is working to keep the quality of education at its peak.

The school budget is now in the hands of the county supervisors. They will incorporate the school budget into the county's overall budget this March.

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