Wait. What?!

This is a sad (true) story.  A friend of mine, also a teacher in Fluvanna, found out just Wednesday that she won’t be getting the salary step increase she thought she’d see next year.  She expected thousands because the superintendent told her (and 300 other staff members) that it would be recommended, and her principal confirmed it, even printed it out for her.  She actually bought a new car based on the expectation that she’d be able to handle the payment.
I was the one to tell her that the thousands she was counting on would likely be closer to $300.  For the year.  My point isn’t that her salary increase will probably be only a few hundred dollars, my point is that she didn’t know it.
The administration called staff together in February to share the good news that salary proposals for next year could restore old salary steps for legacy teachers.  Details were provided about how the largest step might take 2 years to implement. It sounded so good that one person asked Ms. Keller to repeat the proposal, which she did.
The very next week she brought something completely different (the $300-$500 dollar increases) to the school board.  Teachers weren’t directly informed. The date and time of the sch brd session was emailed, but no other information was included.  Ditto for the sch brd meeting after that.  Almost a month later, the superintendent’s budget proposal was emailed to staff, our first look at the new scale, if anyone had time to click on the attachment and examine it.  But why would we?  We thought we knew what was in it because we’d been told face to face.
No meeting was ever called to tell us about the drastic change, no emailed explanation was ever sent.  Since my friend isn’t an FEA member, it’s easy to see why she didn’t know anything different from what her superintendent and principal had last told her.
I felt so sad for this teacher who worried about going home to tell her husband.  On her behalf I’ll communicate to the school board that  1) our superintendent told us that she would propose restoring salary steps  2) within 10 days she proposed something completely different, a drastically reduced salary plan and  3) she did not effectively communicate the change.  Actions like these can affect people’s lives.


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10 thoughts on “Wait. What?!

  1. I will say that I, too, have been confused by the salary proposals. I’m in FEA which is the only reason I had any inclination to their being a change from what was presented by Mrs. Keller during her “Family Meeting.” And even after being told by FEA officials that what Mrs. Keller said was drastically different from what was actually happening, I was still disillusioned enough to think that maybe FEA had it wrong. Afterall, our superintendent felt it important enough to call us together to tell us the good news. Wouldn’t she feel it even MORE important to call us together to tell us the bad? Especially when that bad news occurred withing 10 days of the original meeting? How can this be happening in this day and age? Where is the transparency within our school system. People have been complaining for quite a while about issues with the Board of Supervisors and their lack of transparency. Perhaps now, maybe the community will rally around the teachers of this county and demand transparency and full disclosure from our school board and superintendent. There is no way that this kind of change just fell from the sky. And if it did, it should have been reported to the staff, FIRST. I am devastated for the teacher that Perrie wrote about who made financial plans based on information that Mrs. Keller presented to us, and that her administrator confirmed. Perhaps Mrs. Keller would be willing to forgo her $400/month car allowance and give it to this poor, grossly misinformed teacher.

  2. If Mrs. Keller says it, we know it is not true. There is a huge list to support this statement. I’ll start it….

    -we will not open the high school
    – we will not add any more furlough days

    • The $72,000 Evaluator Effectiveness System is not for teacher evaluation.
      Teachers have access to school supply rooms in every building.
      We want to know what furlough days you’d choose by survey.
      We used to order lunch from EW’s. We don’t do that anymore.
      We’re creating pay scales for the ADMIN, as well as other staff.

    • We won’t/will ask for the school efficiency review…We will/won’t/will extend the school day…We’ll pay VRS in 1% increments…I pay for health insurance just like you (The school board actually pays the superintendent’s total premium for health and dental ins. They also pay her VRS life ins while she budgeted for the rest of the staff to pay their own.)

  3. It is sad that I, and most FCPS employees, expect that whatever comes out of Keller’s mouth to be a bold faced lie. That is of course after her “heartwarming” stories of hard work paying off. I am also surprised that a teacher that has been in the system long enough to be getting a step actually expected that to happen. I wish it weren’t true but we have a true politician running our school system:(

  4. Sadly, no matter what we are told, the opposite will be done. We have NO ONE to help us. Parents get frustrated because we complain all the time, but nothing ever changes, it just seems to get worse. FFoF wants us to offer suggestions not just problem. I really can’t offer any suggestions because there is no one listening. No one. It is really sad what has happen to our school system in four short years. It will take years to recover. Excellent teachers have/are trying to leave. Until there is a clean sweep at the top, we’re stuck. Fortunately, we all know that there will eventually be a change. I look forward to that day and and loving again what I trained to do. I just hope that it happens soon.

  5. We all know the double speak we expect from the SB admin, but, it was a really poor decision to make a financial move, like buying a car, based on the promise of a raise.

  6. I was a teacher in Fluvanna for 10 years. I remember when I got my contract in 2007 that I finally felt I was being fairly compensated. I would never be paid that much again. I am a GREAT teacher, I always received exemplary performance reviews and I loved my students. I carried on for 5 more years of stressful elections, being told year after year to go before the board and beg them for money, new principals, new superintendent, it didn’t matter. I watched THE BEST teachers leave in a steady stream over the last two years. When I was offered a position in another district, it was so hard to accept it, I was committed to FCPS. After thinking long and hard, I finally realized the problem was that they weren’t committed to ME!

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