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Chesterfield Teacher Pay Plan Seeks to Meet National Average

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Chesterfield County Administrator Joe Casey speaking during the Monday news conference. (Source: Screenshot from Chesterfield YouTube page)

Chesterfield’s Board of Supervisors announced on Monday a contribution of $10 million to help shrink the pay gap between the county’s 4,700 teachers and teachers nationwide.

The money would help fund a nearly $24 million proposal by the Chesterfield School Board to “decompress” teacher salaries, more substantially increasing their wages as they work more years with the school district.

As of now, Chesterfield teachers don’t see a substantial salary increase through their first 15 years of working with the district. Under the new pay plan, teachers would see an average raise of 5%. Mid-career teachers who have been with CCPS between 12 and 18 years would see the biggest increase — about 9 to 11%.

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Jim Holland, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, praised the pay plan as “historic,” and said raising teacher salaries has been a goal of the board for a long time.

“That’s great news for the county. In my years — over 14 years as a member of this board — we’ve never been able to do that, and it’s been one of my major priorities,” he said.

County Administrator Joe Casey said the $10 million for teacher salaries was made possible by revenue from Chesterfield’s property and sales taxes. He says Monday’s announcement is intended to “commit” Chesterfield officials to make the decompression plan a reality.

“All we're trying to do today is illustrate to our friends at the school board… to just show our nature of helping them to be positioned at their next meeting to know that the local government is behind them,” Casey said.

The teacher pay plan mirrors a similar plan that was approved in November to better pay employees of police, fire and sheriff’s departments. That pay plan will cost the county $22.3 million over two years, and will benefit about 1,200 workers.

Both the public safety and teacher pay plans were informed by the findings of a consulting firm that Chesterfield commissioned to study pay conditions over the last year.

“The critical parts of a county are its educational system and its public safety. When you have those two major pillars in your community, you have a winning successful first choice community,” Holland said during the news conference.

The Chesterfield school board will be voting on its budget on Thursday. Beyond increasing the salaries of teachers, the school board’s budget also proposes giving a 2% raise to all over CCPS employees. 

In calls for his budget to be approved, CCPS Superintendent Merv Daugherty has emphasized the importance of increasing teacher pay and retaining high-quality educators as the district faces a teacher shortage.

“We know that there’s a national teacher shortage. We know that since the housing market in 2008, the school system has not recovered financially. We know that there’s only so much money, but we believe the funding is available to support this budget,” Daugherty said during a town hall event earlier this month.