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Spencer County Schools staff and teachers will receive between a 1 percent and 2 percent raise next year at an estimated cost of $168,000.
The salary scale, recommended by Superintendent Chuck Adams, passed unanimously at Monday night’s board meeting. Board Chair Jeanie Stevens was absent from the meeting.
Both certified and classified personnel who have 0 to 14 years experience will receive a 1 percent increase. Those with 15 to 24 years of experience will receive a 1.5 percent increase. Those with 25 or more years experience will receive a 2 percent raise.
Adams said the differentiation between the levels of experience will put Spencer County at or above the average salaries for the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, of which the district is a member.
“Although not significant raises, this model does recognize the commitment to the children of Spencer County while differentiating to proactively address the upper end of the scale,” Adams said in his superintendent’s report.
Board Vice Chair Sandy Clevenger, who presided over the meeting in Stevens’ absence, asked Adams what kind of feedback he had received from the staff.
“They would like more,” Adams said. “But they understand the differentiation. No one says it’s unfair.”
For the current school year, classified staff received a 1 percent increase, while certified staff received a .5 percent increase. Though small, it was the first salary increase since the 2008-09 school year, but drew criticism because of the distinction between certified and classified positions.
The scale approved Monday night does not differentiate between certified and classified positions. Instead it rewards the personnel with the most experience.
During her monthly report to the board, Spencer County Education Association President Stacy Hieb thanked the board for its decision.
“Thank you for addressing the salary issue,” Hieb said. “It’s been a need that we’ve had for several years.”
The projected extra cost of $122,000 for certified personnel and $46,000 for classified personnel will come from the district’s contingency fund.
“We are able to do this where many districts are not because of our diligent stewardship of recent stimulus funds, our ability to utilize multiple funds efficiently, and the general fund contingency we have grown and maintained during a difficult economic time while maximizing student instructional needs as first priority,” Adams wrote in materials for the meeting.
“I believe now is the time to do it,” Adams said, referencing the differentiation scale based on experience.
Board member Debbie Herndon made a motion to approve the recommendation, which was seconded by board member Janet Bonham. Clevenger, Herndon, Bonham and board member Ange McKinney each voted in favor.