BOE approves tentative FY15 budget with pay raises

JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Education has adopted a tentative budget for the 2014-15 school year, and it includes pay raises.

Members voted 7-1 during Monday’s board meeting approving the last of three options given them. Charlton Bivins cast the dissenting vote and Michael King was absent.

The fiscal year 2015 tentative budget has $530.95 million in expenditures altogether accounting for general operations, capital projects, enterprise expenses and other special revenues.

The board chose Superintendent Luvenia Jackson’s recommendation to pursue implementing a budget that comprises a general operations allotment of $399 million. The allotment includes a 3 percent pay raise for FY15 employees with a one-time, 1 percent bonus for current employees.

Chief Financial Officer Ken Thompson said the choice will cost the board $11 million — $8.4 million for pay raises and $2.6 million for the one-time bonus.

Members preferred the option over two others. One option does not include pay raises but would restore five instructional days to the school calendar at a cost of $7.5 million, according to the budget proposal. Another that would give all employees a 2 percent pay raise and restore three instructional days at a cost of $5.7 million for pay raises and $4.5 million to add instructional days.

Bivins broke ranks, saying he preferred the hybrid option to give teachers a modest 2 percent pay raise while reinstating three instructional days to the school calendar, which is five days shy of what is typically required.

State allowances give boards some flexibility in the number of instructional days they plan in a school year due to the stresses of depressed local economies, which are major streams of revenue for K-12 education.

The board will host public hearings on the tentative budget at its administrative complex at 1058 Fifth Ave. in Jonesboro. There will be June 2 hearings concerning teacher salaries at 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the budget at-large at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Members are expected to adopt a final budget June 23, along with a tentative millage rate. They will vote on the FY15 millage rate July 10.

View the FY15 budget proposal at visit www.clayton.k12.ga.us.