Shelby County teachers may get pay raises

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Neihof: No tax increase required

By Todd Martin

All certified and classified employees of the Shelby County Public Schools may be getting a raise next year.

Superintendent James Neihof told the Shelby County Board of Education during its meeting at Heritage Elementary on Thursday that because of the work of the board and budget committee, he will present the board with a recommendation for a raise for all certified teachers, school administrators and classified personnel such as office staff, janitorial and food service positions. The raises, he said, will not require a tax increase but instead fit within the budget this year.

“This is something you, the board and the community expressed an interest in last year,” Neihof said.

Staff last received a raise in 2011-12 school year when a 1 percent raise was instituted. Before that staff received a raise in 2008 of 1.5 percent, but that increase did not cover the funds lost by a 2-day reduction in working days.

Currently, excluding the Education Center at Cropper, which is funded partially outside the district, there are 297.3 teaching positions filled at the district’s 10 schools and another 117.5 classified staff positions, which include food service, janitorial and secretary positions.

Although Neihof introduced the concept of a raise for certified and classified positions, it will still need to be approved in the budget, which will most likely be brought to the board at the May 23 meeting. The tentative budget will take into account the nearly $2 million in budget cuts the board approved in February as recommended by a budget committee, which included district and school staff along with board member Brenda Jackson.

That approval also included cutting up to 26 positions based on current enrollment. However, many of the jobs will be rehired to fill expanded staffing needs that will come along with the expected student growth.

The district’s working budget will not be set until after board sets the tax rate and school begins so the district can set the average daily attendance rate for state funding.