Cops and teachers: Underpaid and under appreciated

Events this week remind of two professions that provide a great service for all of us and get very little in return when it comes to salary and benefits.

The tragic shooting of four deputies in Buchanan County — with two dead, one clinging to life and the fourth in serious condition — should send out a warning at budget time that deputy sheriffs in Floyd County are among the lowest paid employees of our government. Yet the folks put their life on the line day in and day out.  The starting salaries of deputies is so low that one with a family could qualify for food stamps if his or her spouse is not working.

And the debate surrounding the county school board reminds us that while the board is very generous when it comes to paying its administrator — who is the highest paid county employee by a wide margin — it is not so generous when it comes to teacher salaries.

Floyd County teachers — like so many others in their profession across the country — work hard to provide a quality education to our students and they don’t get a lot of thanks or recognition for it.  Their salaries have not increased by almost 100 percent — as has the school administrator — yet many of them stay and continue to work and teach.  I know more than one teacher in Floyd County who buys supplies our of their own pocket to help teach the kids because there isn’t always enough money to go around.

Cops and teachers.  Thank them when you see them. With the county budget stretched razor thin, that’s about all they’re going to get and the deserve much more.

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5 thoughts on “Cops and teachers: Underpaid and under appreciated”

  1. Thank you Doug for saying what many of us know…I am not a teacher nor a law enforcement officer, but I agree, they are some of the most underpaid, and under appreciated folks around. I hope the county can do something for them, so we don’t lose the good ones!

  2. Not sure we can ever pay them ‘enough’, but it is a matter of what the taxpayers can afford to pay. Actually a teacher is paid more than most people realize – $45-$50,000 per year to work about 9 months (counting breaks and summers) with a paid pension and full retirement after 30 years is better than many private sector degreed employees who have to work 12 months, only two weeks vacation and they have to pay for their own retirement (most can’t take full retirement until they are 65, no matter how long they were employed).

  3. Since these are public positions, then the salaries are published, so all job applicants know what the pay is BEFORE they choose their selected vocation, so they must be teachers and policemen NOT because of the pay but for other reasons. Why then do they wait until AFTER they take the job do they complain about the pay? If the pay is so low, why do they even choose those professions in the first place? Puzzling.

  4. I would really really like the people who complain about how teachers “only” work 9 months a year and get the summers off to actually try out the teaching profession. My mother has taught for 30+ years and works approximately 12 or so hours a day on school work, papers, planning, etc. Teachers (most of them) teach because they love to help children learn. The constant lack of decent pay in Floyd County is pretty sad – the salary County Boy points to in this first post is actually at the higher end of the floyd co. pay scale. It is surprising that people choose to be cops or teachers, given the low pay. However, it’s a good thing someone does, because where would we be without either of those public servants?

  5. Country Boy 1 has his facts wrong or his data skewed on Floyd County teacher salaries…although maybe that’s true if the Superintendent’s salary is included! Amen to Lara’s post. Regarding police officers…if Floyd Co. paid a decent salary (which won’t happen as long as there are Republicans on the Board of Supervisors), there wouldn’t be half a dozen or more Christiansburg / Montgomery Co. deputies living in Floyd County–I’m sure they would love to work here if they could afford it!

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