School Budget Includes More Money For Teachers, Adds 17 Employees

Under a new budget proposal announced Tuesday by the Johnston County School Board, teachers would receive more money, 17 new employees would be hired, and base salaries of the county’s 46 principals would be increased.

Initially school leaders wanted more than $20 million in additional funding this year but have scaled back the increase to $8.07 million more this year.  Instead of asking for 105 new positions, the updated spending request is seeking only 17 new employees.

The Board of Education approved the proposed $65.9 million spending proposal on Tuesday which has been forwarded to County Manager Rick Hester and commissioners. It represents a 14 percent hike in funding from the county.

Initially the school system requested 85 new teaching positions in grades K-3. That has been reduced to 15 new positions.

Instead of asking for 13 social workers, the new request is for 1 additional social worker.

Johnston County School Board Vice Chairman Dorothy Johnson listens to discussions on the 2017-18 budget during Tuesday’s school board meeting. The board voted unanimously on the $65.9 million spending request, an increase of 14 percent over the current fiscal year. The spending request now goes to Johnston County Commissioners for consideration. Photo

Five new school nursing positions were reduced to a request for one. Two new positions, a Webmaster and Family and Community Engagement employee, were eliminated from the final budget request.

Chief Financial Officer Art Stanley said the budget includes a 1 percent teacher supplement increase at a cost of just over $1.9 million, and a 2 percent supplement increase for 43 Teacher Learning Coaches at a cost of $48,433.  Also included is $284,136 for a 2 percent supplement for staff at Low Performing Schools, $250,000 for furniture, and $88,231 to give all 46 principals a base salary increase of $1,500 with benefits.

Eliminated from the initial funding request were $796,000 for improvements to the computer network system and $53,014 for an additional 1-month employment for athletic directors at high schools.

No new school buses or activity buses are included this year.

The school board received $57.8 million from the county last year. County Commissioners have until June 30th to adopt a 2017-18 fiscal year budget that includes funds for the school system.