It is too early to tell whether teachers or other employees in the Whitley County School District will be receiving pay raises next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The Whitley County Board of Education reviewed its 2020-21 draft budget during its regular monthly meeting Thursday, which is tentatively set at $30,840,712, which is slightly more than the 2019-2020 draft budget was at this point last year.
Superintendent John Siler said that changes to the pay scale would not be looked at until the Kentucky General Assembly has concluded and budgets are set in Frankfort.
Newly elected Gov. Andy Beshear touted $2,000 pay raises for teachers when he was campaigning last year. Whether Beshear, a Democrat, can convince the Kentucky General Assembly, which
is overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans, to approve the pay raises remains to be seen. Beshear hasn’t indicated how he will pay for the $84 million proposal.
Siler noted that the draft budget includes a 2 percent contingency fund, which is mandated by state law.
No vote was required Thursday regarding the draft budget, which is essentially a preliminary estimation of how much funding the district will have next fiscal year and how it will be spent.
The 2019-2020 fiscal year ends on June 30, 2020.
Also during Thursday meeting, the board recognized the Whitley County High School land judging team, which won the first place award in state land judging competition for the first time ever this year.
“Their total score as a team was 1,035 points, which is the highest in the history of this competition in the state. These young folks set the mark really high. The highest it has ever been with that score,” Siler noted.
Team member Jacob Hensley was the high scorer with a personal score of 352, which is a nearly perfect score.
The team has qualified for the national competition that will take place in May in Oklahoma City.
Team members include: Hensley, Daniel Conway, Naythan Jewell, Chelsea Logan and Leslie Monhollen.
In other business Thursday, the board:
- Accepted a $33,511 offer of assistance from the school facilities construction commission, which offers funding to districts every two years for construction projects. Siler noted that the funding could be used for things, such as roof replacements, or the new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system planned for Whitley County Middle School WCMS.
- Approved an agreement between the school district and Ross Tarrant Architects for the new WCMS HVAC project.
- Elected officers for 2020. Brenda Hill was re-elected as board chairperson and J.E. Jones as vice-chairperson. The board also voted to keep its regularly scheduled meetings on the second Thursday of each month starting at 5 p.m. on the fourth floor of the central office.
- Presented the January Above and Beyond Award to Shannon Taylor, a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Whitley East Elementary School, who teaches composition and social studies.