At the Knox County School Board Meeting on Wednesday evening, School Board member Karen Carson made the comment that the Superintendent of Schools MUST receive a 2.5% cost of living raise. A 2.5% increase for his salary is equivalent to about $3,000.00 a year.
However, last year her same rhetoric did not match her actions when the non-certified employees of the school district failed to get a cost of living raise. Non-certified employees are all of the positions that are not teacher certified; janitors, lunchroom cooks, teaching assistants, bookkeepers, secretaries at the central office and at individual school sites, all the maintenance employees (the ones that drive the trucks, delivering materials, like textbooks and school mail, the ones that run water lines, electrical and crafts employees)
These employees make as little as minimum rage per hour to less than $30,000.00 a year after 15 years. Now, this school board member and the school district will respond that they get a step raise every year. This is spin in the worst way. Employees from 1 year of service to 15 receive a step raise, each year. If they have worked longer than 15 they receive NOTHING except a cost of living raise. Last year employees employed longer than 15 years received nothing in additional income. More than 50% of non certified employees are 15 plus year employees.
Another school board member stated $3,000.00 in a $300,000,000.00 dollar budget isn't much. Let's see: it could buy at least 5 computers or 100 library books or loads of art supplies. It could do a number of things. No other employee in the school district rated as average (3.1 on a 0 - 5.0 scale) will receive a $3,000.00 raise.