Campbell Co. teachers have lowest salaries in the area

File: Campbell Co. School Board (WSET)

CAMPBELL Co., Va. (WSET) -- The Campbell County School Board says it's discouraged after the preliminary county budget.

Part of the extra $2-million the school board is seeking would go to a 5 percent teacher raise, and without it, Campbell County teachers have the lowest salaries in the area. And now, it looks like they'll make the same amount next school year.

While the budget isn't finalized yet, Chairman of the Campbell County School Board, Scott Miller says every indication shows they won't get the money they need. "I know that the teachers are just as discouraged as we are," said Miller. "What's best for the school system in Campbell County is also what's best for Campbell County."

Miller says investing in the schools is what's most important. "They're part of our future, they're part of what attracts people to our county," said Miller.

But, Eric Zehr, a member of the Board of Supervisors, says the money just isn't there. "A little bit for the schools turns out to be a lot on the county side," said Zehr.

Zehr says they have to look at all departments. They've had some extra expenses like the odor control at the county landfill and unexpected emergency service needs in Altavista.

He says they've added $184,000 for school maintenance needs. "We send one check over to the schools, what's done with that is up to the school board," said Zehr. "I sure hope teachers get a pay raise, they sure deserve it."

But the School Board says it's just not enough to work with. "I think Campbell County deserves better than that," said Miller. "I'm proud to live in Campbell County and I'm proud of our teachers, I'm proud of our school system, I'm proud of our kids in the schools."

There will be a public hearing on the budget on May 2.

The tax rate will not be raised, but the public's comments and concerns will be heard. The budget will be finalized after that.

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