Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
School budget calls for first teacher raise since 2008
By PORTSIA SMITH
The Caroline County School Board is holding a public hearing Monday on the 2011-2012 proposed school budget.
The proposal, which Superintendent Greg Killough said is preliminary, calls for salary increases and seven new positions. If approved, this would be the first raise for Caroline teachers since 2008.
The proposed $35.8 million operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is about $2.7 million, or 8.3 percent, more than this year’s budget.
Killough said the school system is expecting to receive more federal, state and county funds next year due to an increase in average daily membership. The budget is based on having 4,100 students, 10 more than this year. This budget asks for $13.6 million from the county, $2.6 million more than was received from the Board of Supervisors this year.
After 38 teachers left Caroline last school year to accept higher-paying jobs, Killough said it was important to show all employees that they are appreciated and needed.
The major area of increased spending in the operating budget will go towards salaries and benefits.
He said the proposal is a “needs-based budget that will attract, recruit and retain highly qualified administrators, teachers and staff who will provide an outstanding instructional program and a safe environment for our children.”
Caroline’s teacher salary scale, which ranked the lowest out of 13 localities in the region for new teachers, will be increased by about $1,800.
The hourly scale will go up by 8 percent, the first increase for teachers in three years. Administrators will see a 4 percent raise, the first administrative raise in four years.
The seven new positions include five new teaching jobs, one teaching assistant and a position in the transportation department that would work on electronic bus routing.
Other spending in the budget includes increased retirement contributions, additional textbooks, instructional material, equipment and supplies. Building, grounds and vehicle maintenance spending will also increase.
Parents and residents are encouraged to attend the 6 p.m. public hearing Monday at Caroline Middle School to comment on the proposed budget.
One spec. ed. teacher:$57,059
One spec. ed. teacher assistant:$21,468
Two elementary teachers:$114,119
Two secondary teachers:$114,119
One electronic routing position in transportation:$64,925
SOL instructional materials: $30,000
Instructional supplies&equipment for CTE program:$20,000
Maintenance service contracts:$30,030
Building maintenance: $202,012
Transportation vehicle and equipment maintenance for supplies:$17,737