Laurel school district employees to get 5%-9% pay raise

Photo by Nita Johnson

Campbellsville University honors teachers across the state with the "Excellence in Teaching Award" each year. This year, three Laurel County School District teachers were honored before the Laurel County school board on Monday. Pictured here are: Miranda Parker, London Elementary; Misty Poindexter, North Laurel Middle; and Angie Feltner, South Laurel High.

All Laurel County school district employees will receive a pay raise this July, an action that was approved unanimously by board members during Monday's bi-monthly meeting of the Laurel County Board of Education.

All certified staff will see a 5% pay hike, while classified staff will see a 9% increase in their salaries for the 2022-2023 school year begins.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett told board members that administrative staff had been working on budgeting in raises for both certified and classified staff since December and were able to make it happen.

"As a result of many strong financial recipients and good decision making and good management, I'm excited to recommend a pay increase for certified staff of 5% across the board and pay increase of 9% for all classified staff," he said. "We started looking at this in December, however at that time there was quite a different budgetary climate. We had projected to have to pay the 12% CERS employer contribution."

Bennett said the recent legislative session added $100 per employee to the fund, and with those changes, it was possible to give the pay increases. He added that the raise was one of the largest he could recall, which was well-timed with the current inflation rates.

"This will go a long way to showing appreciation for our staff, but we've always appreciated our staff every year, not just this year," he said. "But now we're doing it right, not just one department but for all departments, doing it across the board. This will be a big help to our people who are excellent."

Board member Joe Karr asked if the raise could be retroactive to this past year, with Business Manager Adam Hooker stating that retroactive pay would affect taxes for both the school district and employees. Bennett reiterated that the raises were the largest he could recall but that backing up the pay would cause complications.

The board also recognized three teachers who were the recipient of the Campbellsville University's Excellence in Teaching awards. Those were Miranda Parker from London Elementary, Misty Poindexter from North Laurel Middle School and Angie Feltner from South Laurel High School.

David Jackson with Hacker Brothers construction updated the progression on the Laurel County Day Treatment facility, adding that the project has been going well. The block siding that matches the former block of the old building has been added and windows, dry wall and other finishing touches are ready to complete.

Board members also approved an agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice with the Day Treatment Center for $73,710. Bennett said that grant offsets a portion of the salaries of the Day Treatment staff and is around the same amount the school district receives each year.

Construction plans for re-roofing at Cold Hill and Johnson Elementary and the complete re-roofing of North Laurel High School were also approved. Johnson's roof was last redone in 2008, and the current project will provide a foam roof over the gymnasium and cafeteria. Cold Hill's project is the replacement of a 6,500 square foot area over the gymnasium, while North Laurel High School will offer a blue-tinted foam roof except for a section over the gymnasium which will be blue metal.

New staff positions were also approved. Those included creating a Title I teacher position for Keavy and Sublimity Elementary Schools and re-creating a Maintenance Tech II position, IECE preschool teacher and School Psychologist for the district, as well as a secretary/bookkeeper position at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary.

Five preschool teachers for up to 20 days each, five preschool assistant teachers for up to 20 days each and five speech therapists for up to 20 days each for the Summer RTI program were also approved.

Also approved were:

• Agreement with Disabled American Veterans Chapter 158 of Keavy

• FRYSC AmeriCorps agreement for Bush/Sublimity, Hunter Hills and Wyan-Pine Grove Family Resource Centers

• Agreement with Commonwealth of Kentucky for the FY 2022-2024 FRYSC contract.

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