SUFFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The Suffolk School Board is saying it made a mistake after not making Superintendent Deran Whitney's $23,000 raise public knowledge.

According to our partners at The Virginian-Pilot, school board members say they should have handled the matter better, but insist Whitney deserves the raise.

The issue caused outrage among school employees. Bus drivers staged a protest over low pay raises, and teachers have spoken out at several meetings about the need for higher wages.

The city says there's no way to make those raises happen without raising taxes.

Suffolk City Council will vote on the budget in May.