Knox County School Board approves budget

Knox County School Board approves budget with $13.3 million increase

Posted:
Dr. Jim McIntyre's $418 million budget is an increase of $13.3 million over this fiscal year's budget. Dr. Jim McIntyre's $418 million budget is an increase of $13.3 million over this fiscal year's budget.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre's $418 million budget. The new budget is an increase of $13.3 million over this fiscal year's budget.

It includes measures to increase teacher pay, new additional school resource officers, new technology and new security cameras and building entry controls at every school.  

Around $3.9 million of the school system's capital budget for 2014 will be used to begin implementing a number of security enhancements, including the addition of video cameras, camera/buzzer systems, secure vestibules and keyless entry cards at every school.

Almost $2 million will go toward adding 58 additional school resource officers at each school. Teacher compensation will be addressed in the budget.

The budget calls for a full 1.5 percent pay raise for all teachers at the beginning of the school year, as well as an additional one percent salary increase in January of 2014.

The school's budget will go to the county commission for final approval sometime in June.

"We've had lots of great discussions with the mayor, and the county finance, and many with the county commissioners, and we're hoping there will be broad support for moving forward with a budget that is fiscally responsible, but also is going to help us see strong academic progress that we've seen in Knox County Schools, " McIntyre said.

Another last minute budget amendment allowed for the school board to use $120,000 to fund hiring two gifted and talented program coaches to be utilized in the county's middle schools.  

There are currently just over 15 talented and gifted program coaches working in the school system.

McIntyre said the funding became available through a combination of savings on rental costs for the Andrew Johnson Building and employee attrition costs.  

McIntyre said ding a meeting with Knox County Finance Director Chris Caldwell on Monday,  the two proposed a way to save $70,000 on space rental for the building.

McIntyre said the rental costs were expected to increase $270,000 this year, but the school system would only pay $200,000 of that increase this year, and make up the difference next year.

In other news, the Board of Education approved the resolution to name a new elementary school in the southwest sector as Northshore Elementary. 

After hundreds of suggestions were submitted, a committee of 12 parents and teachers picked the name for the school.

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