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Opinion/Letter: Residents can't afford school pay raises

Opinion/Letter: Residents can't afford school pay raises

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City schools want to increase employee compensation (“Request with 5% raises adopted,” The Daily Progress, Feb. 23 print date). How many private-sector workers have received or will receive wage increases in this difficult economy?

Let’s look at some data. We are a city of 47,266 people, with a 22.1% poverty rate. So, that means 10,446 people in poverty, and that leaves just 36,820 people — exclusive of businesses and other tax sources — to fund all these wish lists. Think about that! Fewer than 40,000 people to help pay for whatever City Council and School Board decide.

Seems to me the Capital Improvements Plan and school budget should reflect this reality.

Let’s look at school spending. There is the locally paid cost per pupil, and there total spending per pupil. We are sixth in the state in local spending ($12,044) and eighth in the state in total spending ($17,079), as of the 2017-18 school year.

Given these rankings, I find it unacceptable to spend even more. I suggest schools make do with the plenty they have.

Actually, what I really think is that we should merge into Albemarle County and become a town, but that’s for another letter.

Barbara Haskins


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