HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Money dominated discussions at the Hamilton County School Board agenda session Monday night.
It comes ahead of the board’s plans to vote on a 2.5 percent teacher pay raise.
That would mean allocating 3 million dollars to increase pay for certified teachers and classified employees.
“I think as long as we can sustain that. As long as we have the finances to sustain it. I think it’s essential that our people get a living wage and they work very hard for it,” School Board Member Dr. Steve Highlander said.
Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson recently proposed the pay increase.
Officials said revenue is higher than projected.
“We should’ve given it to the teachers when we did the budget. We had to have known the money was there, was going to be there. We don’t usually miscalculate the budget this bad. So I think we should’ve given it to the teachers when we did the budget,” School Board Member Rhonda Thurman said.
School board members also have plans this week to take a vote on another contract for Johnson.
Johnson maintains that the two proposals, his contract and teacher pay raise, have no connection.
Johnson had previously pitched pay raises during the budget season, but ended up giving bonuses instead.
“There is absolutely no correlation between pay and my contract. That’s been suggested and to me that, that just blows my mind,” Johnson said.
School board members said discussions over the Superintendent’s contract started in November.
The new contract proposal includes a base pay of 240,000 dollars, entitlement to teacher raises after January 1st 2021, and salary increases for meeting performance goals.
As for the teacher pay raise proposal, if the board approves it, officials say an additional 7 million dollars will have the be included in the next budget.
The Hamilton School Board will consider the proposals up for vote at their meeting on Thursday.