Don’t ask for a tax increase
So, Cumberland schools face a $450,000 budget deficit.
The school board says this is due to increased benefit costs, increased Virginia Retirement System (VRS) contributions, decreases in state funds due to lower enrollment and special education costs.
So, what does the board do? They ask for reduced VRS contributions, as per the original schedule, to be held harmless for decreased enrollment — and they want money for salary increases.
My husband and I live on Social Security and have not seen a cost of living increase worth anything in recent years. Last year, the increase was zero percent. For 2017, it is .03 percent. That means about $5 a month, and our Medicare premium went up by $4.10. Net raise was a whopping .90 cents!
The average American worker’s wages have been stagnant for more than 20 years. And who does the board propose should receive these raises? Teachers? Administrators?
Only two of the three schools are even accredited. At what levels are our students in reading and math?
Get the schools up to par and then maybe you can have the nerve to ask for a salary increase.
And don’t you dare to ask for a tax increase.
Cumberland is a poor, rural county with a small tax base. This is due primarily to lackluster economic development efforts, which has been the case forever.
Who can we hope to attract?
No companies or families wish to relocate to an area with failing schools.