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Raises, New Positions In Putnam Schools Budget

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Raises, New Positions In Putnam Schools Budget

Putnam County Schools certified staff will get a $1,500 raise in the new fiscal year under the system’s new budget.

The School Board approved the new budget’s first draft Thursday night. Director of Schools Corby King said the budget aligns with the district’s five-year strategic plan that was instituted in 2023. He said it also includes some $3.6 million to sustain personnel additions funded during COVID, now that ESSER funds have run out.

“We have data that supports the changes that we’ve made and the personnel that we’ve added,” King said. “We’ve seen increases in our student achievement. We have more reward schools than we’ve ever had this year. We continue to see increases in student achievement, and it’s closing gaps in learning for those who are coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and environments.”

King said because of the rise in Putnam County’s economically disadvantaged population, the system received a “fast growth” TISA increase under the new state funding formular. He said with the unbudgeted TISA allocation of some $1.7 million, the district can add Future Ready teachers, behavior specialists, counselors, and other positions to the fund balance while maintaining a balanced budget.

He said the budget is largely based on projections that could change over the next three months, so the budget is subject to revisions and adjustments before it is finalized this summer.

“Student behaviors are way more significant than they have ever been,” King said. “Students are coming to us, we hear this from schools across the district, with more significant behavioral concerns and problems just being able to participate in class; to sit and follow directions from a teacher. And this is at the elementary level, and it’s a real struggle, so we’re creating a behavioral team at the district.”

King said the proposed budget includes a $1,500 raise for certified staff, moving starting teacher salaries to some $48,000 for starting teachers with bachelor’s degrees. He said the budget includes a pay increase of some three percent for support staff as well.

Some $249,000 from the system’s reserves will be used to keep the budget balanced. King said he feels the first draft starts the district in very solid position.

“Our success depends on our people and we want to make sure we have the best people in front of our children,” King said. “And that is, again, what we’re focusing on.”


The post Raises, New Positions In Putnam Schools Budget appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.