Hampton school teachers question raises, budget cuts

Liz Palka on Hampton schools budget outrage

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Recent raises and budget cuts have many in Hampton questioning the school division’s leadership.

The Hampton branch of the NAACP held a forum Monday night during their monthly meeting. The topic of the forum was on the Hampton City Public Schools’ budget and why some school leaders received raises when big cuts were made in other areas of the budget.

Four administrators of the school division received raises for the current fiscal year, totaling about $30,000 for all of them. Superintendent Dr. Linda Shifflette explained on Monday night the raises were due to equity adjustment, which is not a new practice in the school division’s budget process.

Dr. Raymond Haynes was promoted to Executive Director of School Leadership. With that raise, Haynes received a nine percent pay increase, which is standard for promotions. With that pay increase, the school system adjusted the salaries of three other division leadership team members, who have more years of experience than Haynes. The adjustment raised their salaries so they were earning more than Haynes.

“We know that somebody coming in that doesn’t have any experience in the position should not be making as much as someone who may have five or 10 years,” Shifflette said.

Shifflette explained equity adjustment is how the school division keeps employee salaries fair.

“But, everyone below, teachers included, have all seen a decrease,” said second-grade teacher, Sandi Dianna. “Even to the point where, some of them no longer work for the school system. They’ve been outsourced and they work for private companies, losing benefits as well as pay.”

Dianna’s concern is for the 200 custodians who were outsourced during the budget process. Custodians were given the choice to leave or work for a private company that now provides custodial services to the schools. However, the new company has cut their pay significantly.

Fred Eley worked for Hampton City Schools for 10 years. He said his pay went from more than $12 an hour to $8. He also said the change has affected his benefits and retirement.

“It’s staggering to know that all of that growth has occurred, and then all of this decrease has been done to the rest of the schools,” Dianna said.

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