Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Stafford School Board mulls teacher raises

Stafford’s School Board will meet tomorrow night at 6 for a work session about the budget. To learn more about the school budget, click here.

These budget documents lay out scenarios for teacher raises. So far, the board has mainly discussed options 5 and 6. Option 6 would give employees a 6.5 percent raise. Under that scenario, a starting teacher in Stafford would earn $39,070. Now, starting teachers in Stafford make $36,685.

Option 6 would cost the school division $5.9 million. So far, budget discussions have not mentioned where this money would come from.

Last week, a handful of teachers came to the schools’ public hearing on the budget to say that the lack of raises in the past few years makes them feel undervalued and demoralized.

Stafford schools employees received an average step increase of 2.5 percent for fiscal year 2012. This year, the employees have received a 1 percent increase, to cover their increased costs related to the Virginia Retirement System.

Before the school division can provide those raises, officials first need to spend about $2 million to hire special education teachers, to meet state and federal guidelines.

The School Board is scheduled to vote on a budget next week.