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1/30/2013 - Accomack County Schools conduct budget public hearing - Click here to print this information

By Wesley Edwards

At a public hearing on the 2013-14 Accomack County School Budget, Superintendent Dr. Bruce Benson presented a power point presentation showing the highlights of the proposed budget. He explained that the budget was not yet completed and any and all comments made tonight would be considered before a final budget was approved.

Benson went on to say there were 66 new teachers in the 2012-2013 school year equaling about 16% of the total number of teachers in the system. With it taking 7-8 years to become a good teacher and with Accomack having 25% of its teachers with less than four years experience,this group needed the most attention.

The section of his presentation that got almost all the attention from speakers was the phasing out of the early retirement plan. Twelve speakers from the audience of about 70 people spoke about how important this benefit was to all of them. All twelve of the speakers had more than 20 years experience and felt it was unfair to jerk it away from them at this point in their life. Only one of the twelve speakers mentioned salary.

Gary Reece a 32 year teacher and now athletic director at Nandua High School spoke about the retirement benefit also but gave equal time to how important athletics are to keeping children in school and off the streets. He went on to comment about how poorly coaches are paid and their effect on children's lives asking for consideration of this group. He used himself as an example stating he managed 26 different programs and got paid $90 for each program.

The School Board will now consider requests made at the public hearing and will prepare a final budget to submit to the Accomack County Board of Supervisors.

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