School board weighs 1 percent raise for employees

Dec. 05, 2013 @ 04:18 PM

The Board of Education Finance Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to bring a recommendation to the full board that they use funding from the "true-up" to give a 1 percent salary increase to non-certified employees. 

Non-certified employees include bus drivers, janitors and other staff members outside of teachers and administrators. 

Superintendent Mary Ellis told the committee that they are losing more bus drivers than any other work group. They are leaving for surrounding counties, typically because of money. 

The true-up funding is $761,451, which the Union County Board of County Commissioners had encouraged the schools to use for non-certified employees. Ellis said at the meeting that she was excited because she was not sure if the true-up funding would come this year or next year. 

The true-up was appropriated in November. It is from the funding formula and is the difference between the amount predicted based on the formula and the amount of funding collected from taxes. 

"I'm very excited about it," Board member Sherry Hodges said. "They deserve it." 

"This will mean a lot to these folks," Ellis said. 

The full board will vote on the proposal next week.

The committee also discussed the proposed teacher supplement, Board of County Commissioners Chairman Frank Aikmus said Monday night it would amount to about $561 for each teacher. The money brings the supplement up to last year's state average, Ellis said, noting that it is a moving target. Ellis said after benefits and taxes it would be about $200 and noted that it is one-time money.

She said she is glad to see money for teachers and would say that one time is appreciated, but a continual raise is expected and appreciated.  

In addition to discussing the trueup funding, Ellis told the committee that there are rumors of an 11 percent cut to the Exceptional Children program from the federal government. 

She also told the board that should they receive the money awarded by the jury, the $4.9 million awarded for current expense funds would possibly be used to bring the assistant principal and central services supplements up to the state average.