SUWANEE -- Board members of Gwinnett County Public Schools met Thursday with a group of teacher-representatives from each school to talk about current concerns.
During the annual meeting of the Teachers Advisory Council, board members split from the regularly scheduled work session to meet with the teacher-representatives, many of whom voiced concerns on a number of subjects including furlough days, salary increases and additional security at schools.
Following the individual meetings, the group came together to discuss some of the topics. Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks answered questions about all of the above.
"There won't be any raises," said Wilbanks as a group of more than 100 teachers listened. "There's no money for raises."
GCPS employees have not gotten raises in four years, Wilbanks said, due to a lack of funding.
Regarding furlough days, Wilbanks said he couldn't say "whether the elimination of furlough days is going to happen ... there's been no discussion about having to increase those, and we hope to eliminate the two that are there."
In addition, Wilbanks addressed questions of security at district schools, in light of the tragic events in Newtown, Conn.
"We are hoping to add some SROs (School Resource Officers) that would add more coverage for us," he said. "When the budget comes out the board will try to make sure that's included."
According to district spokesman Jorge Quintana, the board of education meets with the teachers annually "to hear from them about the achievements and challenges of the district."
"The role of each teacher-representative is an essential one as they serve as the liaison between the superintendent, the school board and the rest of the faculty at their school," Quintana said.