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Clayton BOE to hold SPLOST vote, salary hearing

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Board of Education will meet twice on Monday to deal with money-related issues.

The first meeting, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., seeks more public comment on plans to cut the local supplement for teachers' salaries. The second, which begins at 5 p.m., is being held so the board can vote on whether to ask voters to support a new, $268.3 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Both meetings will take place at the Clayton County Public Schools Central Administration Complex, which is located at 1058 Fifth Ave., in Jonesboro.

Last Monday, approximately 150 Clayton County teachers and community members attended a public hearing on the proposal to cut the local supplement for teacher salaries.

Late last year, board members were discussing plans to give teachers a one-percent raise in Fiscal Year 2010. But the school system's proposed $574.7 million budget for the new fiscal year calls for a cut in the local supplement for salaries.

One result of such a cut would be that, while teachers would move up a step on the state's salary scale, their salaries would remain the same as they are in the current fiscal year. The next fiscal year begins on July 1.

The proposed, new SPLOST, called SPLOST IV, is being touted by school officials as a continuation of the current SPLOST III. The difference, however, is that, while SPLOST III focused heavily on new school construction, district officials want to use the proposed SPLOST IV to pay for school repairs and maintenance.

If the board approves SPLOST IV, it will still need the approval of the Clayton County Board of Elections, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

If those bodies also approve the SPLOST, voters will be asked to go to the polls on Sept. 15, to vote on the proposal.