Six months after protracted negotiations resulted in a 2.8 percent raise, Volusia County school teachers are back at the table seeking a 5 percent raise. Teachers contend that their salary should be brought in line with the Florida average. District officials claim pay has increased 30 percent in the past 10 years and further increases could put local control at issue by depleting the reserve fund. Volusia County students have no say or responsibility in this matter.
At a Sudbury school the students participate directly every year in grappling with these important issues. Staff members are hired to 1-year contracts that must be renewed every single year. There is no tenure. Students and staff decide and vote on the school budget which includes setting the staff salary. Students vote on whether to renew the 1-year staff contracts. Here are some of the skills necessary to succeed as a Sudbury school staff member:
- Community Role Model
- Interact Comfortably with People Ages 4 through High School
- Posses Special Expertise Useful to the School
- Responsive to the Expressed Needs of the Students
- Express Themselves Clearly
- Can Give Helpful Instruction When Asked
- Understands and Supports the Sudbury School Philosophy
Staff members must also be able to help with admissions, enrollment, fiscal management, institutional management, public relations, deal with outside officials and be interested in deepening their understanding of the Sudbury School philosophy as well as the academic research that supports it. If this appeals to you please get involved.
A Sudbury school is run by the students and the staff. These responsibilities belong to them and not a separate group of administrators or policy makers. This structure integrates the school in a way that gives students not just the opportunity but the responsibility to learn what it means to lead, innovate, collaborate and be held accountable. The value of this empowerment cannot be overstated nor emphasized enough.