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Jun 19, 2023Liked by Elliot Pierce

Lead is the least of worries for Damon Raines and the school board’s leadership. There are few if any subs in Walker County because the county pays around 60$ a day which is about half of what Whitfield, Hamilton, and Catoosa pay. That means most classrooms are being covered by other teachers during their planning periods. Cafeteria staffs and custodians are also woefully underpaid meaning many teachers also clean their own rooms and students are fed pre packaged junk or half frozen fruit. Walker County’s local supplement for teachers lags well behind Catoosa, Whitfield, and Hamilton counties for certified teachers. If that weren’t bad enough, Walker County teachers work more hours than teachers in the aforementioned counties including Dade and Chattooga for less pay when broken down hourly. Test scores in Walker County have been declining for the last several years under Raines’ leadership due to teacher fatigue, lower pay, lack of subs and support staff, and veteran teacher drain due to higher pay and better working hours in other counties. The board and more specifically the superintendent seem to ignore these basic facts because they haven’t addressed them in years other than a year end “bonus” that is eaten up by taxes and a proposed bonus for subs if they work a certain number of days which is minuscule compared to other neighboring districts. Walker County teachers last day of inservice for the just concluded school year was May 31st which was later than virtually every neighboring district and they return July 28th, earlier than every neighboring district. The notion that longer hours for less pay and less support in an already stressful career is a recipe for success boggles the mind of everyone except the board and superintendent.

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Jun 24, 2023Liked by Elliot Pierce

When you are last in virtually every academic category and your main concern is photo ops or social media as opposed to the morale of teachers and the well being of students, this is what you end up with. How many administrators at the county office make over six figures but can’t fund janitors or cafeteria workers?! It’s sad, Walker County deserves better!!

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