School Board Chairman Joseph W. Vogric Jr. (Dulles) said last week that there is a consensus among board members and members-elect not to support Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III's plan to extend teachers' work year by seven days unless they are paid for the extra time.
Hatrick has proposed $17.6 million over the next two years to boost teacher pay 10 percent annually so it equals or exceeds salaries in neighboring Fairfax County. But he has said repeatedly that the salary request and the extra planning time are separate issues and should not be considered contingent on each other.
"I am making this salary proposal no matter what number of days you eventually adopt for the calendar," Hatrick told board members at a work session Tuesday night. "You pick a number; this is still my salary recommendation."
But Vogric said later that board members and members-elect agree "that funding is tied to the calendar."
Hatrick has said--and teachers have agreed--that they need more time for parent conferences, lesson planning and ongoing teacher training. In addition to seven extra days during the school year, he also has proposed lengthening the teachers' day by 15 minutes.
"I really believe that in order to do the job that we're called upon to do, we need all of the days that are available to us," he said.
But he has not allocated more money in his budget request to pay teachers for the additional hours and days. The 10 percent annual pay raise is based on the current work schedule, and some teachers say that adding days without adding to the raise would dilute its effect.
"We need to have additional days for record-keeping and set-up," board member Jeffrey M. Maged (Leesburg) said at the work session. "But I don't think we need to do so without compensating the teachers for the additional days. If the money's not there, then we have to back off the days."
Members and members-elect, who will take office in January, have been meeting several nights a week to review Hatrick's proposals for the operating budget and capital improvements. They are expected to send an adopted budget to the Board of Supervisors in February.
At the work session, School Board member D. Kim Price-Munoz (Sterling) said it would be unfair to enforce a longer work schedule on teachers without compensating them for their time. She blasted Hatrick for not incorporating teachers' views when he created the revised calendar.
"What you have done is taken the people who are the very heart and soul of your educational system and . . . led them to believe that you don't care," she said. "You don't listen."
The discussion grew more heated from there. Hatrick called for an executive session because he said Price-Munoz's remarks were turning into an evaluation of his performance. School Board member Edward J. Kiley (Mercer) said Price-Munoz should not be allowed to speak because she was "out of line" and was "making a personal attack" on Hatrick.
Instead, the board took a 10-minute recess, and when it reconvened, Price-Munoz apologized. "It was never my intent to cause any undue feelings toward anyone," she said.