The Loudoun County School Board's annual meeting to hear what citizens want included in next year's budget drew a large crowd but few requests last week, which school officials took as a sign that county residents are generally satisfied with the board's actions and plans.
"Lots of time they're real disturbed over this or that," said Superintendent Robert E. Butt, who sent reminders about the meeting to parent-teacher associations and other organizations, and advertised the meeting locally. "I just think people are overall pleased with what's happening."
The meeting was "more of a supportive nature than big demands," he said.
In contrast to last year's meeting, at which many citizens argued over the merits of a proposed 15 percent raise for teachers (which was trimmed to 10 percent by the time the budget was approved), many of the 14 speakers last week simply said they and their organizations supported the School Board Compensation Committee's proposal to increase teachers' salaries by 11 percent in 1985-86. No one spoke against the proposal.
There was, however, a plea from several speakers to increase by 40 percent the salaries of Loudoun kindergarten and special education aides, whom one speaker, an aide, called "Loudoun's best bargain."
Starting salaries for aides, who assist teachers in the classrooms and are considered full-time employes, is about $5,000. The Compensation Committee has recommended a 9 percent increase for aides and other classified personnel.
But a 9 percent raise would be "definitely of little consequence" when applied to a salary of $5,000, said Jan Doran, an aide at Douglass Community School in Leesburg.
Mildred Smith, an aide for the last 16 years, told the School Board that at the present salary, "the job seems like a labor of love, and the pay seems like a token fee."
Loud applause followed Smith's comments, and board chairman Warren T. Braham said, "We're getting the message loud and clear."
Butt said this week that the Compensation Committee had been considering the issue of aides' salaries before last week's meeting, and added that it is "very possible" that the committee may recommend a change in the proposal to raise the salaries by 9 percent.
Butt will consider the committee's recommendations as he prepares the 1985-86 budget proposal, which he will deliver to the School Board in January.
In other matters, citizens requested that the board:
* Expand computer training courses to more elementary schools;
* Provide teachers' aides for kindergarten classes for 13 students or more, rather than the current 25 students.