The Wilson County Board of Education met in a special session Wednesday to discuss changes to its proposed budget for the extended care program.
Following a lengthy discussion during both the board meeting Monday and a Wilson County Education Committee meeting that night, school board members decided to revisit a recommendation to raise salaries for extended care employees.
Director of Schools Donna Wright told board members Wednesday that she recommended increasing employee salaries to $9.50 an hour. The increase in salary would not include a rate increase for this year, but decreases the program’s fund balance.
“We are going to decrease the fund balance by 66 percent by not increasing the rates this year because of not having time to give notice [to participants],” said Wright. “We would have a recommendation for a rate increase by March 1, giving notice to parents what that rate increase would be so they can decide whether they would stay with us in the extended school program or to make other arrangements.”
Wright also clarified that the salary increase would have no affect on the system’s general purpose budget. Board member Ron Britt disagreed.
“I don’t think that anybody can believe that this does not have an impact on the budget, whether there’s a $15 charge or not, because it seems to me that it would be fairly common sense that as these hourly rates are adjusted on the salary schedule that there won’t be a necessity and desire to adjust other positions that are paying $9.50 right now. Do we really believe that we won’t have to adjust that and want to adjust that for all those positions?”
In a 3-2 vote, with Britt and board member Wayne McNeese voting no, the amendment to raise the salaries passed. Also in a 3-2 vote, the board approved the amended budget, which will now be presented again at the next meeting of the county’s Education Committee for its approval.