School Board reacts to city raises

Published 10:36 pm Friday, May 9, 2014

City Council’s approval a day earlier of raises for city employees but not school district employees, who would receive a bonus instead, met with a fairly subdued response Thursday from School Board members.

In the meeting agenda, the board’s budget was listed as an information item under unfinished business. Superintendent Deran Whitney said there was no news to report about what the district will receive in the state budget, where a 2-percent raise for teachers is proposed.

At the end of the meeting, only a couple of board members had something to say about the city budget and what it means for district employees.

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“I was disappointed by the news today about the budget,” Judith Brooks-Buck said, adding, “We are asking for it because we believe that people who work here deserve it.”

“We ask that teachers hang in there with us, because we are going to try to do the best that we can.”

Enoch Copeland said, “We are going to work the very best we can in the way of making your finances as pleasant as possible in these turbulent times. We are going to do what we can with what we have.”

The board had asked the city for $3.5 million to give full-time teachers a 3-percent raise and other staff a 2-percent boost, before the city countered with a 1.5-percent bonus, initially for city and school district employees.