Tazewell Teachers discuss cost of proposed tax budget - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Tazewell Teachers discuss cost of proposed tax budget


 Tazewell teachers and parents showed up in big numbers, to attend the public hearing for the proposed Tazewell County budget. 

The evening started at the Tazewell County Administration building, but after a huge turnout of people showing up wearing red in support of the Tazewell County Schools, the public hearing was moved to Tazewell Middle School. 

The Tazewell Board of Supervisors announced in April, a $3.7 million dollar shortfall for fiscal year of 2019. Virginia State law requires the county to balance the budget before July 1st. The Board of Supervisors invited the community to the public hearing this evening, to share a proposed budget plan, but it all comes at a cost. The proposed budget plan will cut spending by almost 2.9 million dollars, affecting many agencies, including the Tazewell School Board. 

Melett Smith has been teaching for almost twenty-five years in Tazewell County. She showed up ready to voice her concerns about the proposed cuts. 

"The Board of Supervisors really needed to hear from teachers tonight and hear how it would affect all of us," Smith said. 

Smith was in good company. Greg Deskins is also a teacher in Tazewell County and wants to see more progress in the entire region. 

"We still haven't recovered from a struggling economy like some other places in the country," Deskins said. "There's not a lot of tax money out there. They're really considering some extreme cuts."

One concern heard throughout the public hearing was the ability to keep good teachers in the county. 

"We have trouble keeping our young teachers because they're not sure they're going to get a contract the next year," Deskins said. "Our pay scale is such, they have to teach so many years to get any meaningful increase in pay." 

 "The Board of Supervisors can't say anything back to us right now, so we just don't know where things are going," said Smith. "They aren't going to vote on anything until June 22nd. It's going to be a very long summer for teachers to figure out what's happening with funding." 


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