by Sam Hieb
Winston-Salem Journal columnist Scott Sexton writes about the apparent miscommunication between Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Beverly Emory and county commissioners regarding local supplements to teacher pay:
No matter how many videos or backroom chats are hatched in response, footage that shows two Forsyth County commissioners practically begging school officials to ask for more money for teacher pay is not a good look.
There are different versions of the same footage in circulation and they were shared at the speed of light by hundreds of teachers across the county.
They have all been edited, which is a point of mild contention raised by some in the school hierarchy, and distill the discussion down to talking about local teacher supplements — the amount school systems pay teachers in addition to their state salaries.
And in it, two commissioners — Democrat Everett Witherspoon and Republican Don Martin — appear to be telling Beverly Emory, the superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, that the county has the money and the will to spend it.
“I think what Commissioner Witherspoon is saying is, you need to do the asking,” Martin said at a meeting May 8 when the school budget was presented. “We’re not going to be asking you about it; you need to do the asking of us with a proposal or an idea or whatever.”
Money on the table? For the asking?
It’s not as if the votes on the Forsyth County Commission aren’t there; they are. To be fair, school budgets are complicated, so it might not be as simple as Emory “asking for” the money. But–as Sexton notes— the situation just isn’t a good look for the superintendent.