Pam Dudding-Burch Contributing writer

It’s difficult for some of the teachers in the Craig County School system today to manage on their annual incomes when they do not parallel with other school systems. “Sometimes we wonder, do the words ‘pay raise’ truly exist in our profession especially in small rural counties?” posed Donna Deplazes, a math teacher at CCHS.


“Sadly, over the last decade there have been many years without pay increases,” she informed. “The few years where increases were given, they barely covered the continuous increases in insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles as well as the cost of living and taxes.”

She added, “there have been several years where Craig County Public School employees brought home less pay than the previous year. Is there any other profession where this would be acceptable?

There is data available which compares CCPS salaries to others in the state of Virginia. There are 132 divisions in the state and 125 participated in the Virginia Education Association salary survey.

“At any benchmark year of experience with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree CCPS did not rank higher than 104,” Deplazes shared. “The state averages appear to be at least $7,000 higher than current salaries at every level.”

How Craig County Public Schools Compare: (Amount column)

Years of Experience

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Amount

Rank

State Avg.

Amount

Rank

State Avg.

0

$32,500

122

$40,106

$34,000

124

$42,790

5

$35,358

122

$42,036

$36,858

123

$44,740

10

$38,467

117

$44,357

$39,967

122

$47,077

15

$41,850

111

$47,501

$43,350

118

$50,416

20

$45,530

104

$51,356

$47,030

111

$54,216

25

$49,534

107

$55,714

$51,034

112

$58,824

30

$53,890

105

$60,352

$55,390

113

$63,696

*VEA Salary Study for Teachers 2016-2017; Volume I: Benchmarks and Rankings*

Deplazes, along with many staff and citizens, believe that the employees of CCPS deserve a raise or at least an experience step increase. “The hard work to remain accredited and meet expected benchmarks as well as the continual involvement and care in the bettering of this county and its children should be acknowledged,” Deplazes stated.

The teachers and staff at CCPS have noted multiple times at the monthly school board meetings the fact that, “The future is our children.” Administrative staff agrees that retaining and hiring caring and quality teachers and staff at Craig County Public Schools should always be a priority for both the Board of Supervisors and the School Board.

“I ask that people come to realize that the school system is directly tied to the future of our county,” Deplazes added. “We want responsible citizens but if we want to attract more businesses and people to move into the county the school system needs to have a good ‘report card’ itself.”

“We have a beautiful county with bright students who deserve the very best,” Deplazes exclaimed. “Without these dedicated professionals, who will educate and train the next generation?”

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