Knox County Schools superintendent discusses teacher raises

Knox County Schools superintendent discusses teacher raises

Posted:
Dr. Jim McIntyre Dr. Jim McIntyre

 By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE(WATE) – Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre released his facilities budget Tuesday and discussed what the reduction in state education funding means for his goal to increase teacher pay.

3/30/2014 Related story: Proposed Knox County school budget includes teacher raises

Last week, Dr. McIntyre recommended a three percent raise for teachers in his budget for the upcoming year, but that same day, Governor Bill Haslam announced a reduction in education funding from the state.

3/31/2014 Related story: Tennessee state employees, teachers won't get pay increase

The superintendent had planned a $6 million increase of BEP funding from the state, but Tuesday he said they've received the new numbers from the state and it is $2.6 million less than what they had planned. 6 News asked if that makes his goal of teacher raises still realistic.

"Despite what the governors has had to do on his side, I still feel its incredibly important for us to make some progress in terms of teacher compensation. We're 35 in the state in terms of teacher compensation, and that's just not good enough," Dr. McIntyre said.

We then asked if the full three percent raise for teachers is still on the table.

"Not necessarily," Dr. McIntyre said. "Again, we're working through the numbers, but not necessarily. But that is to be determined in the next little bit."

Dr. McIntyre recommended a $433 million dollar operating budget to the board last week but Tuesday he also released his capital budget for the upcoming year, coming in just under $15 million.

The recommendations for what is also known as the facilities budget include $7.2 million for building upgrades, $1.3 million for an addition to Mooreland Elementary, $3.8 million for security upgrades and $2 million for new technology.

It also designates money for a middle school study.

"I'm recommending $75,000 for a study of dynamics, enrollment dynamics and facility dynamics in our middle schools. There's been a lot of discussion about middle schools in our community, and what I'd like to do is really dig in a little deeper and bring some additional research to the conversation," Dr. McIntyre explained.

There has been a push by community members for new middle schools in Gibbs and Hardin Valley. Dr. McIntyre said if the study determines they are necessary, money has already been assigned for those new schools.

The five year capital plan designates $34.5 million for each new school over a period of four years.

10/13/2013 Related story: Gibbs community members push for a middle school
1/13/2014 Related story: Group holds public meeting to push for Hardin Valley Middle School

Dr. McIntyre said he hopes to have his final budget recommendation this week. The Board of Education will then vote on Monday April 14.

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