Events this week remind of two professions that provide a great service for all of us and get very little in return when it comes to salary and benefits.
The tragic shooting of four deputies in Buchanan County — with two dead, one clinging to life and the fourth in serious condition — should send out a warning at budget time that deputy sheriffs in Floyd County are among the lowest paid employees of our government. Yet the folks put their life on the line day in and day out. The starting salaries of deputies is so low that one with a family could qualify for food stamps if his or her spouse is not working.
And the debate surrounding the county school board reminds us that while the board is very generous when it comes to paying its administrator — who is the highest paid county employee by a wide margin — it is not so generous when it comes to teacher salaries.
Floyd County teachers — like so many others in their profession across the country — work hard to provide a quality education to our students and they don’t get a lot of thanks or recognition for it. Their salaries have not increased by almost 100 percent — as has the school administrator — yet many of them stay and continue to work and teach. I know more than one teacher in Floyd County who buys supplies our of their own pocket to help teach the kids because there isn’t always enough money to go around.
Cops and teachers. Thank them when you see them. With the county budget stretched razor thin, that’s about all they’re going to get and the deserve much more.