In tough school budget times, who should pay?
Florida's school districts are struggling to find ways to make ends meet, as revenue shrinks and costs rise.
Several Pasco County School Board candidates have suggested that pay cuts be part of the package. But then the question arises of exactly who should suffer.
District 3 candidate Anthony Terranova has called for a 10 percent cut for anyone making over $85,000, and a 5 percent reduction for employees earning between $75,000 and $85,000. District 4 hopeful Steve Kanakis proposed a 10 percent cut for all workers with a six-digit salary. Notably, both men have won the endorsement of the United School Employees of Pasco, which includes very few people in those categories.
By contrast, District 4 candidate John Tracy has said if pay cuts are necessary, they should come across the board and not be targeted at only one class of employees. And School Board members should take the hit first, he added.
In recent years, the board and superintendent have taken small pay cuts but held all other salaries steady.
Other candidates have not addressed pay cuts directly, though they have mentioned the morale issues that years without raises have incurred. Many workers feel put upon as they are asked to work harder without any added pay. District 5 candidate George Brazier, among others, suggested that if more money isn't coming, maybe some added thanks would help.
"The money is not there," Brazier, a Gulf High teacher, said at a recent forum. "We've got to find alternative ways to say, hey, you're doing a great job."