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Board suggests 6 percent raise for educators
Jun 26, 2006 12:00 am
June 14, 2006 – A proposed 6 percent pay raise for Wilson County teachers has been included in the needs assessment approved by the Wilson County Board of Education in a special reconvened meeting Monday.
"This 6 percent would adjust their pay from 117th to 44th in the state," School Board Chair Ron Britt said.
The pay raise amounts to $2.8 million of the more than $6 million total for all items on the needs assessment.
"All of the items on the needs assessment are important for the school system to move forward," Assistant Director of Schools Mickey Hall said.
The needs assessment list is part of the budget proposed for the Wilson County School System. The county's finance department requires its department's to present a "status quo" budget to the finance committee with the only allowable increases stemming from gasoline, retirement and insurance line items. Any other requests for increased funding are placed on the needs assessment lists.
Increasing teacher's pay by 2 to 6 percent has been placed on the school board's needs assessment list for the past four years, but the request has never been approved. Teachers, however, received a raise from the state two years ago.
But this year teachers will see a change – a revision in their contract.
Board members elected to change some wording in the document, which is more than 20 years old.
"The board wouldn't send the needs assessment forward unless the (Wilson County Education Association) conceded to allow the director of schools to replace administrators," Britt said.
The language of the original teacher's contract included the statement: "no tenured employee should be discharged, non-renewed, suspended, disciplined, reprimanded, adversely evaluated, reduced in rank or compensation, or deprived of any professional advantage without just cause."
State law mandates responsibility to the schools director to place administrators. By using the current language, the contract violated the state law, Britt said.
The new language reads "no tenured employee shall be discharged, suspended, or reprimanded without just cause."
The school system is also looking to add more employees to its roll call next year. Included in the needs assessments is 11 reading coaches for area schools.
"We would have one reading coach for each school (kindergarten through eighth-grade)," Hall said.
"Everybody talks about reading and this is a way to approach a serious problem," Britt said regarding the proposed reading coaches. "Anything we can do, I feel that we must."
"Dr. Duncan has placed emphasis on reading coaches," Hall said, adding reading programs have been a top priority for the retiring director of schools.
Other needs assessment requests are setting aside funds for updating technology within the system and a second School Resource Officer (SRO) at Wilson Central High School.
Hall said the system is working on establishing a replacement cycle for computers.
"We hope to replace about 400 a year every four or five years," Hall said.
The system has about 3,200 computers.
The final need calls for a new SRO at Wilson Central to address "discipline problems" occurring on the grounds as well as accounting for the large number of new students associated with area growth, Britt said.
"All of this is contingent on approval by the County Commission," he said.
Staff Writer Kimberly Jordan can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16.