The Knox Community School Corporation’s teachers and staff are set to get pay raises.
During a public hearing Tuesday on the proposed 2019-2020 teacher contract, Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart said teachers, on average, would see a six-percent salary increase. “Our new starting base salary will raise to $36,700,” he told school board members. “Our top of the scale will go up to $61,715. We will be trying to do what’s called a veteran teacher’s catch-up provision.” That means several of the corporation’s more experienced teachers will get up to a $4,500 increase to their base salary, to make up for the times that the starting pay level went up but theirs didn’t.
Reichhart expects that teachers will be “elated” with the raises. “This comes because of new teachers coming in lower than our veteran teachers who retired and also a result of cutting an administrative position,” he explained. “It’s also the result of cutting three-and-a-half teaching positions and also some classified staff positions. So we’re doing more with less, and as a result of that, the people that are still working for us are making more money. So I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment, but it’s not going to happen every year.”
No one from the public showed up to comment on the tentative collective bargaining agreement. It will be up for final approval on October 21.
However, the school board did take final action Tuesday on raises for several other school employees. Administrators will get an increase of up to $2,000, retroactive to July 1. All classified staff will get a three-percent pay raise. For bus drivers, that raise is retroactive to August 6. For everyone else, it will take effect January 1. Meanwhile, the director and assistant director of technology will each get a $5,000 base salary increase, due to a change in job responsibilities.
School Board President Kirk Bennett said he’s excited and thankful to be able to boost wages. “I’m tickled to death that we’ve been able to do some things here in the last couple years to start to get the people of our community that are teaching and educating and administering and serving, doing things, to start to get some pay increases, which has been long-overdue, and we’ve been slowly getting there,” he said.
Bennett thanked Reichhart, administrators, and the rest of the school board for their efforts.