School Board Puts Security Personnel Pay Raise Vote on Hold

PENNINGTON, NJ. –  The Hopewell Valley school board recently withdrew a vote on whether to raise each step in the district’s security personnel’s three-step salary range by $5,000, creating a three-step range of $25,000-$27,000-$30,000.

Superintendent Judith Ferguson originally proposed the $5,000-per-year raise to address the recent trend of campus security officers leaving for greener pastures.

Among the dissenters was paraprofessional Duchess Lake, who works as a teacher’s aide at Hopewell Elementary. The raise, she argued, was too steep, especially in light of the fact that many paraprofessionals with more than 30 years experience make only $30,000.

Board member Jeffrey Bartolino was also reluctant to approve the raise. Many campus security officers, he argued, come from the growing ranks of retired police officers and firefighters looking for a way to supplement their pensions.

Board member Carl Swanson, however, said school security is more important now than it was five years ago. Failing to approve the pay raise is only evidence of the school board’s faltering commitment to school safety.

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