County orders schools to raise teacher pay but refuses to budget additional money for the increase
By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 22, 2004 2:02 PM
In an unusual move, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners today voted to require the school system to raise the supplemental pay for teachers but turned down the schools' request for additional money to pay for the increase.
The county did approve a $760,000 increase for operating expenses for the schools. But the commissioners expect the school board to cut administrative costs, dip into savings or otherwise find savings to meet the higher payroll. The schools had sought more money than the $760,000 to pay for the raises.
Commissioner Jack Best said that he believes the school system can afford to pay a competitive salary without harming the classroom teaching environment.
He urged his fellow commissioners to take a hard line with the school board.
"I don't have a problem with being an S.O.B.," he said. "In fact, I'm good at it."
The last-minute change to the budget would require the Board of Education to increase the salary supplement for certified classroom teachers from 3 1/2 percent to 6 1/2 percent. The raises would go to about 1,070 teachers and cost more than $1.4 million.
The commissioners did not vote to give the school system more money to go along with the mandate.
The county's budget was approved unanimously this morning. It totals $101 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The new budget does not raise the countywide property tax rate of 66 cents-per-$100 valuation.
Small tax increases were approved in the Antioch, Pleasant Grove and Thoroughfare fire districts.
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