NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Public School Board approved a $376.7 operating budget for 2023 during Wednesday night's meeting.
The spending plan includes a provision for increasing teacher pay by 5.8%. Pay for classified employees will increase about 7.5% and administrators will see a pay raise of 4.2%.
This decision came after over 20 passionate people spoke out during the meeting.
Toni Johnson, a kindergarten teacher at Granby Elementary School, said, "Every time we teach students character, they learn how to cooperate with others. They learn how to tolerate different viewpoints and to respect the needs of others. Who else has that platform every single day except for their parents?"
The budget also includes funds for more school psychologists, social workers, safety and security measures and building repairs.
This comes after other cities in the area have either voted to approve or have proposed to pass pay raises for school employees.
The facility use master plan was also discussed at Wednesday's meeting. After much debate, school board members voted against the plan, which included closing Lindenwood Elementary School and moving its students to Willard and Taylor Elementary Schools.
The building was then to be replaced by the Madison Alternative Center.
School board members say after listening to concerns from parents, they don't believe moving the students is the right choice. Rather, they suggested a commitment to providing Lindenwood students with more resources like school counselors.