Juliana Sweeny | April 21, 2023
(The Lion) — Teachers are not the only ones who will receive a pay bump at Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) next fall.
Hidden within the nearly $30 million dollar increase to maintain personnel, LCPS plans to pay $3.3 million towards unionization efforts.
According to LCPS, 90% of the district’s $1.6 billion budget is allocated to personnel costs. If the proposal for the 2023-2024 school year is approved, pay for faculty and staff will collectively increase another $23.8 million; full-time teachers will receive a 5% minimum salary increase – all of which is funded by taxpayers.
Although union proponents claim unionization directly benefits teachers and staff, some parents in the community are disturbed by plans to indiscriminately reward teachers and teachers’ unions.
In the last few years alone, LCPS has repeatedly been the subject of news related to teacher misconduct, sexual assault claims, and mishandling of student behavior. A salary raise for both teachers and unions is just the opposite of some families’ wishes.
These are not the only reasons why Loudoun County residents are speaking out against LCPS teachers and collective bargaining efforts.
“Who kept our kids out of schools? It was the unions,” said Loudoun County School Board Member Tiffany Polifko, according to 7News.
Recent data show significant learning loss occured with the onset of pandemic-related school closures and implementation of distance learning – policies which were heavily supported by LCPS teachers and unions across the nation during the pandemic.
“[Teachers unions] never voiced a strong opinion to get the children back in the classroom. That was not their priority,” said Loudoun County School Board Member Jeff Morse, according to 7News.
Despite persistent national scrutiny, however, some LCPS board members were quick to support the increased spending on unionization. “The majority of teachers want this and that’s why I’m going to support this,” said Harris Mahedavi, LCPS board member.
Ultimately, the board voted 4-3 to approve the additional spending. The $3.3 million dollar budget item will go into effect if approved by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors later this spring.
Juliana Sweeny teaches history & biblical studies, coaches volleyball, and serves as athletic director at a Christian school in Loudoun County, Virginia.