Teachers could get a $500 salary boost effective November and a one-time $450 check from the School Board’s half-cent sales tax fund reserved for teacher raises.
The School Board’s Blue Ribbon Committee recommended the salary increase and the one-time distribution payment during a committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The one-time distribution is paid from what’s left in the tax fund after other expenses.
More than 2,100 employees — the majority classroom teachers — are eligible to receive the pay raise and one-time check. Voters approved the tax, which was pitched as a way to fund pay raises to retain and recruit classroom teachers. Over the years, additional employees — librarians, counselors and other positions — were added to the list of eligible employees. In May, the board culled the list of employees eligible to receive the benefits, excluding positions that do not provide direct or regular instruction to students.
Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry told the committee that the tax fund will maintain $2.35 million in reserves to cushion against potential declines in sales tax revenues, a situation that’s already begun in the past few months compared with the same period last year.
The committee’s recommendations await board approval and won’t appear on the board’s action agenda until its Oct. 7 meeting.
Teachers in November received a $1,000 permanent salary boost from the sales tax fund, and a few years ago, received another $1,000 permanent increase in salary.
The newly suggested $500 annual pay raise would cost $1.5 million.
If the salary increase is approved, eligible employees would receive an excess check of $449.02 next month. That excess check would increase to $1,438.74 if the board doesn’t approve the salary increase.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.