Sunday, January 29, 2023

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
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How many raises are enough?

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We were amused, but not particularly surprised, by this week’s newest aggrieved group, substitute teachers, who somehow figure they are entitled to some sort of raise – since the school board recently voted to give teachers a December bonus.

Now the fact that it is questionable whether the school system can actually afford to be spending any of this money is a fundamental issue about which there can be plenty of debate – but, by the way, usually isn’t.

Except for Tony Rose (to his credit) at his last board meeting (since he didn’t seek reelection), no one spoke against or voted against the millions in bonuses to be spent for school teachers.

The cost is $5 million to $6 million with a commensurate reduction in the amount of money available for air quality upgrades at ABSS schools.  We’re sure we’ll hear about that need again in the future – when there’s no more money left to pay for it.

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The inevitable consequence when public bodies give raises or bonuses to one group is that some other group will show up the next week with their hands out, as well, wanting to “share” in the largesse.

Earlier this fall, it was Burlington firefighters who showed up to highlight their importance, just as the city council was bestowing (another) large round of raises and benefits for police officers, who are in short supply.

This week, it was substitute teachers, who want the school board to give them more.

Long since forgotten is that both certified and non-certified substitute teachers have already gotten two rounds of raises – in August 2021.

Keep in mind, these additional payments for substitute teachers were in the form of permanent, daily pay rate increases – not the one-time bonuses, which were expensive enough, that were given to teachers, both last year and this.

It’s just such a shame that taxpayers cannot line up at the door of the school board meeting and ask for their own “share” of raises and bonuses.

Instead, of course, they’re expected to pick up the tab for all higher spending.

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