“I personally could not look at myself in the mirror knowing I gave this kind of raise when other school staff will never have this opportunity.”
Ronald Johnson, a member of the Johnston County school board, released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying that he disagreed with Chairman Todd Sutton. Also, Mr. Johnson stated he would donate his salary to teachers in the classroom.
“In 2017, I said something like “I cannot in good conscience support raises for the highest paid employees of Johnston County Schools.” In 2021, this still holds true for me. If you go back to 2017, the very same reasoning was used by the other board members to give out several $10,000 plus pay increases. The other board members will now say they were lied to and that should not have happened. I personally could not look at myself in the mirror knowing I gave this kind of raise when other school staff will never have this opportunity,” Mr. Johnson stated.
“A year ago we were facing a 16 million dollar deficit. Thanks to government assistance in the form of the Cares Act, we now have a surplus and fund balance. I want to remind the Board of Education the previous budget crisis was partly because of big raises and created positions with the exact same justifications being used right now.”
“In 2017, I also stated “I do not want to devalue the employees tapped to receive these raises.” This statement also still holds true for me. I appreciate everyone who works hard for Johnston County Schools. However, the county tax revenue is down, we are in a pandemic, and a lot of working people are struggling. It just does not feel right to me for government employees to get these huge raises when the average private sector worker is having trouble. Where is the sense of mutuality? If anyone should get a raise it should be the people working on the frontlines with students every day, especially during this pandemic,” Mr. Johnson said.
“To the select few getting the raise, it is great for you but what about everybody else? Can you go into in a room, look the people in the eyes who do the work, and walk away feeling validated in the fact you received a huge pay increase while they will never have the chance to make those kinds of wages? I personally could not, so I will be giving my March Board of Education salary back to teachers in the classroom.”
“Furthermore this is a slap in the face to every employee in Johnston County Public Schools. And secondly the Chairman has went out of his way to attack me in his press release. He will never speak for me.”