Shelley’s 20 percent raise

At the January 25 school board meeting, Spotsylvania County school board member Dawn Shelley stated that a parent allegedly contacted her about giving school staff 20 percent pay raises. We think Shelley said this on purpose to score political points regardless of the truth behind Shelley’s story. Next year’s budget proposes a 5 percent across the board pay raise. Some educators will receive an additional 4 percent based on the modernized pay scale that rewards tenure/loyalty.

Shelley is advocating a pay raise well beyond the rate of inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose 7 percent year over year from December 2020 to December 2021. Real hourly wages decreased 2.4 percent during the same time. Without cutting anything from the budget, a 20 percent raise will require a tax increase beyond the rate of inflation.

This is what turns the public off. Inflation along with the decrease in real wages hurts the pocketbook of families. Yet, Shelley wants to worsen the problem by proposing a staff increase well beyond the rate of inflation that would ultimately result in higher taxes. This comes during a time when families are paying more and earning less.

Politicians like Shelley think they can spend your money better than you can. It is very generous to spend other people’s money and think you are doing the community a favor. Shelley does not mention savings from making things more efficient or address any waste, fraud or abuse issues. She just wants more of your money and says everything is a “need”. We suspect that if Shelley had the sole power to raise staff pay, she would raise pay another 50 percent, raise taxes by the same amount, and it still wouldn’t be enough.

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