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Chesterfield Educators and Parents Call for More Funding

James River High School
Budget talks in full swing in Chesterfield County. A public hearing to go over the budget will happen on February 11th at 6:30 pm at the County's Public Meeting Room. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Almost two hundred educators and parents gathered inside Cosby High School’s auditorium this week. A number of the teachers told administrators they’re tired of paying for their own school supplies and having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Reeshida Smith teaches 6th Grade math at Bailey Bridge Middle School. 

“A lot of teachers have two jobs, three jobs, I don’t know very many who don’t have some kind of side hustle,” Smith said.

Smith says a lot of her peers left their teaching jobs and moved out of state because they couldn’t afford it anymore. According to the Virginia Department of Education, the starting pay for a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in Chesterfield is almost $46,000. In Henrico, it starts at almost $47,000.

Katie Adcock has four school-age kids. She says teachers should be paid more. Adcock said, “Well, I’ve always felt like the teachers everywhere are just under appreciated.” 

Adcock adds that everyone in Chesterfield benefits when children are educated. 

The last community meeting will be at 6:30 pm on February 10th at Midlothian Middle School.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News. He also produces and hosts the World Music Show for VPM Music — now in its 16th season. You can often find him riding his bike around Chesterfield County or on Virginia's Capital Trail. Stewart has won multiple Regional Edward R. Murrow and Virginia's AP Broadcasters awards for reporting and sound editing. He graduated from San Francisco State University with degrees in journalism and creative writing.