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School board finds money for teacher raises
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

A program that the school board was able to push back to the 2014-15 school year freed up money for 1.5 percent raises for all school personnel Monday. 

The school board was told that PARCC, an online assessment program, was mandatory for the 2013-14 school year, but it actually wasn’t mandatory until the 2014-15 school year. With the cost of infrastructure and the staff to implement and run the program off of the budget, the school board was able to have enough money to give a 1.5 percent raise to all school employees. It will go into effect Sept. 15 if the education committee and county commission approve it later this month. 

The raise was originally in the budget, but the education committee and county commission asked the school system to trim it because it asked for three million more dollars in spending. 

The issue of refrigerators and microwaves in teachers’ classrooms was also discussed. Due to the energy policy the school board passed, teachers are not supposed to have either device in their room. Setterlund said the cost of running a less than seven cubic foot refrigerator is $35 a school year and a microwave would cost $17.50. Setterlund had talked to principals and suggested that the teachers could share in that cost if they would like one in their room. 

Board members Wayne McNeese and Bill Robinson believed it was unfair to make the teachers pay for the energy costs, 

“I think we ought to find a way to make this work,” said McNeese.

The school board voted to have Setterlund get with the principals and come up with a number on how much it would cost the school system to allow teachers to have them and vote on an action in the September meeting.