Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Burchett says no to all pay raises

Mayor Burchett
I meant to put this up yesterday when we first reported it, but I was out of town working on a big scoop. Heh.

WBIR's John Henry talked to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett about the school system's request to fund a 2.5 percent increase for teacher pay raises, which would cost about $4.5 million.

There's all sorts of stuff to say about this, but, really, I think everyone sees that the school board is trying to use teachers as political pawns in a financial game of tug-of-war. (I'm all for teacher pay raises by the way.)

Burchett notes that the school system could find money in its own budget to pay for the raises. (He's also said he doesn't plan to give general county employees raises, either.)

That's an interesting point. The school system's budget includes funding to tack on two additional days to the school calendar, an odd move since a state study recently said there's no proof that a few extra days really helps students (read: It doesn't).

Anyhoo, certainly something to think about. Here's John's story:
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is reacting to Knox County Schools' proposed budget.

The Knox County Board of Education approved a $432 million budget Monday night.

The school system made way for a 2.5 percent raise for teachers, but in order for that raise to happen, the board must receive more money from the county commission.

Mayor Burchett questioned why the school board failed to reorganize the budget to make the raise happen without having to ask the county for more money.

"There simply isn't enough revenue to fund the school's request this year. Of course we can't dictate how the school administration spends its money, but out of the $427 million in revenue that the school system is expecting, surely they could find 2 or 3 percent of that to fund the raises," he said.

Under the current board budget for raises, the school district needs another $4.5 million.

County commission must ok the budget. They have until the end of June.

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