A group of about 30 Carroll County Education Association members stood outside the Board of Education a half hour before the board meeting Wednesday to rally with signs bearing messages like: “We can do it!” “We are one!” “Strength in numbers” and “United in red.”
The members of the teachers union had gathered en masse requesting raises one last time before the Carroll County Board of Education voted to adopt its $334,979,586 budget for the 2020 fiscal year that evening.
Lockard said since the beginning of his first budget season he recognizes salaries as the No. 1 priority this year, and the Board of Education has also been in support of the efforts to ensure fair, competitive wages.
The upcoming budget is the first since 2008 with no cuts — and marks the end of 10 years of decreases that resulted in the loss of 375 employees.
It is time to not only give meaningful raises to CCPS employees, but to also begin hiring more, Lockard said Wednesday.
This sentiment was echoed by Manchester Elementary School teacher Kathryn Henn during the public comment portion of the meeting that evening.
“I’ve been coming to you for some time now, talking about the trouble in kindergarten,” Henn said. “I’m asking you, please, for more money from the commissioners. We need a pay raise. We also need additional staff.
“We should not have to come before you every year, and make you choose between paying all of us what we deserve and giving us the help what we need in the classroom,” she said.