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Teachers to get $1,000 raise
Bobby cox mug
Director of Schools Bobby Cox

Teachers will get a $1,000 pay raise under the Warren County School System budget for 2020-21.

The budget, in which the school system asks for no additional money from the county, was approved unanimously Monday night by the Board of Education.

The budget shows the school system should have more than $5 million in reserves, but Director of Schools Bobby Cox says that amount will be much higher.

“Actually, we should have closer to $8 million,” said Cox. “We’ll probably put back $3.5 million more than we thought because we’ve not been in school.”

In the approved budget, all certified staff will receive a $1,000 annual pay increase. Classified staff members will receive a $500 raise.

Cox said money for the pay increase comes, in part, from an extra $565,000 in state BEP revenue. Cox noted that a 5 percent increase in health insurance premiums is coming Jan. 1.

“Last year, there was no insurance increase so they were able to keep the whole $2,000 raise they received,” said Cox referring to the raise given to teachers.

School Board member Bill Zechman asked Cox where Warren County ranks in the state in terms of teacher salaries. Cox said he didn’t know an exact number but said, “We’re about middle of the road in salary.”

“We’re very competitive with our starting salary at $39,000,” said Cox. “The state minimum is $36,000 so we’re well above that. Where it probably hits us a little bit is with our master’s level and as you know we’ve been trying to work on that salary schedule for years, but years 1 through 5 on the master’s level is where it’s a little bit lower on increases.”

Cox said the pay raises for teachers and support staff amount to a total budget increase of $677,375.

In talking about the general school budget, Cox said there is no request for extra money from the county. He said an extra expense is spending $1.2 million above what the bond will cover for upgrades at West Elementary. He said the extra expense is due to meeting ADA requirements.

Cox also announced the school system was approved for $890,216 in federal funding that will go toward internet access and WiFi management.

“To get that money, we have to spend $113,000,” said Cox. “So we put in $113,000 and they give us $890,000. I think that’s a deal any way you slice it.”