Teacher Speaks Out at Hearing on Waynesboro School Budget - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Teacher Speaks Out at Hearing on Waynesboro School Budget

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Josh Waldron, teacher at Waynesboro High School Josh Waldron, teacher at Waynesboro High School

Rising health insurance and retirement costs have Waynesboro schools talking about cuts and Tuesday night, they heard from one of their teachers.

Josh Waldron attended the Waynesboro schools' budget hearing to ask one question: “Is there any optimism for the future?” The Waynesboro High School teacher says every year it seems like the same message: more adjusting and more cuts.

“I mean I'm at year six and I'm still on a first-year teacher salary,” Waldron said.

Board Chair Kathe Maneval says his point is well taken.

“I think there are a number of teachers who feel that way and I think there are a number that are questioning whether they can really make a living and support a family on the current salaries that teachers are making,” she said.

This comes after a nearly $32 million budget proposed just last week, with a $760,000 deficit. Superintendent Jeffrey Cassell suggests balancing the budget by cutting 10 teachers and five support positions through attrition.

Cassell says non-salary costs are the same as they were in 2009, so the cuts have to be teachers, a crisis he attributes to state reductions in funding. Cassell says state funding for public education is at “2008 levels,” while the city's contribution to the budget has increased.

"The city's been making up for what the state's been taking away,” Maneval said.

Cassell says teachers will hopefully be aligned with salary scales in the following budget.

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