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The budget also includes teacher raises.
Tuesday night, the school board approved the 7% to 10% raise for Newport News teachers. All teachers will receive at least a 7% increase. With the increase, there will be a 1.5% increase between the steps on the teacher pay scale.
Additionally, the starting pay for teachers has been increased to $52,710. It had been in the $40,000s.
Teacher Mary Vause told News 3's Leondra Head she's never seen an increase like this.
"I’ve been teaching for 14 years and have not had a proposed raise of this size before," Vause said. "I remember some years there would be a 2% proposed raise and we’d be fighting for 4%, so 7% plus is good," Vause said.
Also included in the budget is more than a million dollars to add more security guards in schools.
A school district spokesperson said the district has reached its goal of adding two security guards in elementary schools, hiring close to 30 additional guards.
Vause said she’s noticed a difference in school safety.
"At my school where I work, I have 2 security officers and it makes me feel safer and our staff," she said. I’ve seen progress since what happened on January 6. I think there has been a change in listening to teachers."
The school district is still in the process of adding metal detectors in all schools.
"We have metal detectors active in our high schools and middle schools. The manufacturer’s delayed the delivery of metal detectors for our elementary schools," said Rashard Wright, the chief of staff for Newport News Public Schools.
The district says its goal is to have metal detectors in all elementary schools by the first week of April.
Metal detectors now installed in all Newport News middle & high schools
After the Richneck shooting, the school district created a school safety advisory committee.
"We been able to convene a group of stakeholders that include parents, retired military and law enforcement to come together and look at our safety procedures to give feedback on how we can continue to get better," Wright said.
The budget will go into effect before the 2023-2024 school year.
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