4 percent raise likely for Newport News teachers after compromise


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Teachers and staff in Newport News City Public Schools may soon see the 4 percent raise they’ve been pushing for. 

A compromise on funding the raise was reached during a meeting between the city’s mayor and city manager and the school board president and acting superintendent, WAVY’s Brett Hall reports.

The school board requested an additional $3 million in FY2019 from the city, on top of what is already asked for, for the raises back on March 27. 

RELATED: NN teachers accuse politicians of playing ‘blame game’ in push for raise

Under the agreement the Newport News City Council would provide an additional $1 million dollars to the Newport News Public School district on top of the $119 million already set aside in the general fund for schools, according to Newport News Mayor McKinley Price.

In return, the city will obtain access to some of the school systems fiber optic network.

“I’m pleased with the compromise,” Price said. 

For the school district’s part, $2 million would have to be found in the districts already approved $303.6 million budget. 

Both sides are now charged with finding what exactly to cut to come up with money. The deal then needs to be approved by both the school board and the city council.

“Thank you for your voice and advocacy throughout this process,” said Acting Superintendent Brian Nichols in a letter to employees Friday.

Mary Vause, a kindergarten teacher with the district, long petitioned for the raise and told 10 On Your Side that the agreement certainly is a step in the right direction.

“I think our hard working Newport News teachers and staff absolutely deserve it,” Vause said. “I just would have liked to have seen the city contribute more than $1 million to do it.”

Vause believes the school district needs the $2 million, now headed for raises, for other projects such as school maintenance.

“I’m not pleased with the process and we are taking steps now to make sure things like this won’t happen again next year,” Price said. 

Price, who is running for re-election, wants to see the mayor, city manager, superintendent and school board president to meet quarterly to discuss budgetary needs.

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