There are more changes taking place in Barren County. Teachers throughout Kentucky will be getting a $3,000 pay increase for the upcoming 2007-2008 school year.
But this isn’t the only change happening in school districts across the Commonwealth. Classified employees such as bus drivers and cooks will be getting a 5% increase which is up to $2,500 more a year. Though most employees will be getting a pay increase, there are some who will be left out.
In addition, two days will also be added onto the school calendar, bringing the number of school days from 185 to 187.
“In our case, in Barren County schools that will be the largest increase since the Reform Act was passed in 19-90,” said Bill Walter, Barren County Assistant Superintendent.
Walter said the state is funding this pay increase but there are some positions which aren’t included in this mandate. He said school districts are trying to figure out how to compensate them as well.
“In discussions among the managers and others in the state, we’re looking at one possibility to compensate them by reducing the number of extended days,” Walter said.
Extended days are extra days that some school employees have to work, in addition to the 185 current instructional days.
“Although they’re getting a $3,000 increase based on the certified salary schedule, they would be cut two days in that salary,” Walter said.
That money would then be used to compensate those employees not getting the state funded pay increase and since the school year is being increased by two days, everything balances out.
“It leads to student success. It adds to learning time for students,” said Heather Underwood, an eighth grade teacher at Barren County Middle School.
Teachers from BCMS are not only pleased with the addition of two extra school days, they’re also excited about the increase in pay.
“Well of course most teachers and staff members are going to be excited by the pay increase but most importantly, I think it’s going to be a great benefit to educating in general and benefit students. Anytime we can attract more highly qualified educators to the profession that’s going to benefit students,” said Amy Anderson, Barren County Middle School Guidance Counselor.
School districts throughout the state will meet to see how every county is handling these changes. Once these details are worked out, they will go into effect July 1, 2007.