Highland Teachers Ask School Board To Approve Use Of Federal Funds For Teacher Pay Raises

Monterey, VA – Teacher and staff salary issues were on the minds of many of those present at the Highland County School Board meeting Monday evening. Many teachers and school staff were in attendance. Highland County Education Association representative Mike Warf read a prepared statement to the Board.

“HCA has worked closely with [Superintendent] Mr. Nowlin in order to see that the allocated $73,396.00 in federal jobs bill money be used to support Highland County school employees who provide school level educational and related services” says Warf. “As we understand from Mr. Nowlin, you are willing to reinstate one step to the teachers and a 2% raise to all educational support personnel. We thank you for your support.”

Mr. Warf noted that Harrisonburg city schools and Tazewell County schools are opting to make similar use of these federal funds. School Superintendent Percy Nowlin added his support to the teachers’ request.

“I certainly put my two cents in that basically they have earned it” he says “and I think the point that the teachers make this is money either for jobs or for salaries. If we don’t spend it for either, we’re probably going to have to send it back. We’re behind two years going on three, so now is the opportunity to try to make up a little ground.”

Mr. Nowlin will attend Tuesday evenings Board of Supervisors meeting to speak in support of this issue. The School Board is also requesting to meet with the Supervisors at their next work session on November 11 to discuss school budget issues.

The School Board voted unanimously to send the teachers request for reinstating 1 step in their salary scale and a 2% raise for the support staff forward to the Board of Supervisors. The Highland School system is to receive $73,396 from the federal jobs program. The current request is to appropriate $40,600 to fund the step reinstatement and 2% raise.

In other business, the Board voted to accept the bids for upgrading the lights, ceiling tiles, insulation and installation of air conditioning in selected rooms in the High School. Lightners Electrical bid of $20,000 was accepted for the lights. Bridgestone Construction’s bid of $72,677 was accepted for the ceiling tiles and insulation. Waco’s air conditioning bid of $82, 677 was accepted. Air conditioning is needed in computer rooms where high temperatures like those of this past summer can cause problems for the computers.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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