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Caroline giving staffers a raise

Caroline County school support staff employees will get a 4 percent raise next year.

The School Board has been struggling with its budget for several months, as it waited for a state budget to be passed.

The school division was expected to receive about $700,000 more from the state and about $363,000 more from the county over last year’s allocations.

A step increase was already included in the budget for teachers.

At Monday’s School Board meeting, several bus drivers turned out and pleaded to the board for raises.

Some said they were promised “top pay” after 10 years, but never got it. Others said they watched new hires with less experience get higher pay than they were getting.

Originally, the board planned for 2.5 percent raises, but at the urging of Port Royal representative Tinka Harris, the board directed the division’s financial director to see if a 4 percent raise could be worked out.

The board approved the 4 percent raise at a special meeting Wednesday. Many members said they wanted to give larger raises, but it wasn’t possible.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved raising the employer match for a deferred compensation plan from $12 to $15 per pay period for bus drivers.

The school division is requesting a non-categorical appropriation of about $37.9 million from the Board of Supervisors. That means that school officials would allocate funds without specific line items.

At the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, they pushed off the action until a June 24 work session.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413


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