All school district employees get a raise

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Teachers in Picayune’s school district won’t be the only ones receiving raises next school year. 

Members of the Picayune Municipal Separate School District Board of Trustees approved 75 cent an hour raises for all non-certified staff during Tuesday’s meeting.

In a previous budget the board of trustees approved providing non-certified staff with 50 cents more an hour; Tuesday’s meeting provided them with the additional 25 cents an hour.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Finance Administrator Lisa Penton said the extra 25 cents will cost the district an additional $81,000 next year.

During open session discussion of the matter, Superintendent Dean Shaw said their non-certified staff is paid less than other schools along the Gulf Coast and the last time they received a raise was about five years ago.

“Personally I feel these people need to be paid,” Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said.

Administrators were also approved for a raise, though Penton said she did not have figures to show how much their raises would increase the budget.

Shaw said the last time administrators received a raise was during the 2012-2013 school year.

Teachers are receiving state mandated raises as well, when combined with state, $1,500, and district $100, raises they will be receiving an additional $1,600 total next year, Penton said. Those raises were approved at a previous meeting.

Board member Frank Ford made a motion to move the non-certified personnel raises to executive session, which board attorney Gerald Patch said had to fall under a specific legal description to qualify for the move.

Ford said his decision was based on whether a specific employee deserved the raise based on performance or not, which approved moving the matter to executive session. Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said the board approved the raises as presented after the executive session.

Non-certified personnel include all staff without state certification, such as custodial, maintenance or food service employees.

Penton said she still does not expect tax collections to come in as anticipated.

Overall, Penton still expects the district to operate at a $660,000 shortfall in the coming year, but that number does not include the extra $81,000 needed to cover the extra 25 cents the board approved for non-certified pay raises.

However, the district’s fund balance is more than the board’s mandated eight percent. After the summer payroll is issued, Penton estimates the fund balance will be about $4.5 million, more than the board’s mandate of eight percent of $1.9 million.

The board also discussed adding teachers to Roseland Park Elementary, which includes three teachers and one class reduction teacher. Harrell said a class reduction teacher is used to spread students into other classrooms through a grade level, thereby reducing the number of students in each class.

Harrell used the example of a grade level with 81 students between three classrooms.

When a class reduction teacher is brought in, the 81 students are then divided between four classes instead of three.

The board approved adding the three teachers and the class reduction teacher to Roseland Park Elementary.

See Thursday’s edition of the Item for continued coverage of Tuesday’s meeting.

The next board meeting will be July 8.