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Perennial faculty at Fairfax Co. could see an increase in wages in line with the budget proposal

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 Perennial faculty at Fairfax Co.  could see an increase in wages in line with the budget proposal

Senior teachers at Virginia’s largest school system may see a pay rise within next year’s budget.

Senior teachers at Virginia’s largest school system may see a pay rise within next year’s budget.

Fairfax County Public Schools are considering adjusting their salary scale by trying to recruit new employees and encourage current employees to stay in the county.

The county is discussing using $ 4.3 million to add an extra step to current salary scales under the proposed budget for next fiscal year. Many employees of the school system, including teachers and bus drivers, receive payment through a step-by-step system that links salaries to seniority.



The change offers an additional step to the top of the salary scale used for teachers, and will affect about 10% of school staff, officials said during a school board meeting this week. An additional step could motivate employees who are at the top of the scale to return instead of retiring or looking for work in surrounding jurisdictions.

In Fairfax County, there are fewer steps on the pay scale than in neighboring jurisdictions, according to a presentation summarized with the school board. The recommendation came after school officials said the county was experiencing “great difficulty” with recruiting enough teachers, bus drivers, catering workers and central office staff.

Separately, the presented budget provides for an increase in the cost of living of school staff by 4%.

“We are also called at the end when staff can say,‘ I have my 25 [years] in Fairfax County and I can go. Why should I stay? I’m getting a balance on my salary, ”superintendent Scott Brabrand said during Tuesday’s working session. “Ten percent of our staff are at the moment.”

The budget for fiscal year 2023 also provides $ 1.3 million to adjust the salaries of bus drivers. Brabrand said the school system lacks 170 bus drivers at current operating capacity. While the setup could help the county recruit new drivers, school board member Abrar Omeish said the change could lead to current drivers being placed on a lower rung in the new scale.

The proposed step-by-step increase for bus drivers, in addition to a 4% increase in the cost of living, will give drivers an increase in average wages of 8.68%, according to school board documents.

The budget also provides funding for an increased hourly rate for family-related people who oversee the relationship between schools and families.

Earlier, the county completed a study comparing the pay market in several positions, including bus drivers and family-related.

The budget also provides funding for two additional days of training. School board member Megan McLaughlin said during the session that the $ 22 million funding needed in those days “could go to so many other places,” and urged board members to consider the need.

Brabrand said teachers have shown that “they need time”.

The final vote on the $ 3.3 billion budget is scheduled for May 26.

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