Proposed Knox County school budget includes teacher raises

Proposed Knox County school budget includes teacher raises

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Dr. Jim McIntyre Dr. Jim McIntyre

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Teacher compensation and funding for Knox County's new Career Magnet Academy are among the top priorities of the school district's 2015 budget.

Knox County superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre is recommending a budget of $433.7 million for the fiscal year 2015. He will present his budget proposals to the Board of Education Monday evening.

The FY15 budget is an increase of $13.8 million, around 3.3 percent, compared to last year.

In a memorandum to the BOE, Dr. McIntyre says revenue growth will be limited.

"While this budget proposal does not contemplate major new instructional initiatives due to fiscal constraints, it will allow us to maintain the educational improvement efforts we have put in place in recent budgets, and sustain the strong academic progress our students are making," Dr. McIntyre writes.

The two major priorities include a three percent salary increase for teachers and funding for the first year of the district's new Career Magnet Academy at Pellissippi State.

Knox County school system ranks 35th in the state in terms of average teacher salary. Dr. McIntyre is requesting $3.3 million over the expected revenue estimates in order to fund increased teacher compensation.

"Our teachers have done an extraordinary job of facilitating student learning and success in an era of great change and enhanced expectations," Dr. McIntyre writes.

If funds are only appropriated for the budget at the level of anticipated revenue, teachers would only receive a 1.7 percent salary boost.

The budget calls for $2 million for the CMA, calling it a "significant priority for the FY15 budget."

The budget recommendation also presents some cuts, including 12 custodial positions, cuts to central office budget and a reduction of after-school tutoring. The proposed budget also presents a 15 percent cut to resources for Project GRAD.

Dr. McIntyre discusses future considerations, including some of the recommendations presented by the Parthenon Group. He says he will begin discussions of examining cost and value of block scheduling.

The Knox County Board of Education will hear the full budget presentation at their work session Monday at 5:00 p.m..

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