RPS educators push back proposal to add professional development days

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond teachers brought their concerns to the Richmond School Board at a budget work session Tuesday night amid proposals to send them to an extra week of work.

“No one wants these extra days, said Susan Damron, who has been teaching for more than three decades. “We realize this, again, is going to be a trick tied to salary.”

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RPS officials propose adding up to six paid professional development days for the fiscal year ending in 2018.

“Adding additional days is adding more work, and still does not improve our overall pay,” said Charlotte Hayer, President of the Richmond Education Association.

Personal development programming includes district-wide workshops, seminars and leadership training for teachers. “We do not see these days as the most beneficial use of our time,” said Heather Crone, also a teacher.

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Some said they would rather spend that time in their classrooms, focusing on their students.

“What about giving us some full days for teacher work days at the end of the grading period?” Hayer asked.

 

After years of stagnating teachers’ salaries at Richmond Schools, the district is putting forth a more than $8 million plan to help better attract educators.

“Teachers are generally not in favor of this, and are skeptical of the ruse of getting a raise by working an additional six days,” Damron told the school board.

The superintendent’s office has said the additional professional development days may be built into the school year, and that some of the work could be done online from home.

The overall proposed budget is nearly $300 million, up $26 million from the current year’s budget.

The school board is set to vote on its FY18 budget February 6. From there, it goes to the mayor’s desk and on to Richmond City Council.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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