by Michael Sluss
Wendell Jones had something to get off his chest Tuesday night before the Montgomery County School Board voted on a $94.6 million school division budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The board chairman called the public’s attention to county-generated funds that will be spent as a result of policy decisions made in Richmond and Washington, not Christiansburg.
Jones didn’t disagree with the most expensive of those policy decisions — a 2 percent pay raise for teachers and instructional staff approved by the General Assembly and Gov. Bob McDonnell. The state allocated a little more than $586,000 to pay for its share of the salary increase, the first state-supported pay raise for teachers since 2007. But the county had to kick in more than $1 million of its own to fully fund the raise and to provide the same benefit to other school division employees.
Sluss is a member of The Roanoke Times editorial board.