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School Board Unanimously Approves Final Reading of Budget

Daniel Prince

Budget is 13% more than last year, with no tax increase; pay for teachers, staff, and bus drivers increased

The Union County Board of School Trustees met Monday night for their second meeting of the month, a meeting that was made necessary because the budget was not given final approval in the first June meeting. Following a 12-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters, Superintendent Joey Haney thanked Amy Pittman for filling in for Kim Petty while she was on medical leave, and he welcomed Petty back. He said the Union County Sheriff’s Office has received a grant for a new school resource officer to serve the CATE Center next year. He also said the district has received notification that it will again receive rural recruitment funds from CERRA. He said he would learn more at a meeting in July and would bring information back to the board. He said the district uses that money for signing bonuses and materials for the district’s recruitment fairs.

Finance Director Kelly Richardson presented the budget for final approval. The final budget amount is $36,274,176, a 13% increase from last year. There is no tax increase in the budget, but there is an increase in money from the state. The state budget included a $4000 raise in the minimum starting salary. Districts were not required to use the money on raises if they already meet that minimum requirement, but Richardson said the district is adding it, making the district’s starting pay $43,600, which is slightly above neighboring districts, as some in Spartanburg have a starting pay of just under $43,000. The increase will affect each cell in the teacher pay scale. Teachers and other eligible staff will receive their step increase this year, if applicable, in addition to the $4000 boost in the steps for teachers. In addition, bus driver salaries have been increased by 8%, and 2% was added to all other pay scales. Everyone in the district is getting some sort of raise in this year’s budget. Three new positions were added to the budget as previously approved by the board—two 5K teacher aides at Foster Park and Monarch, and an additional receptionist at Jonesville Elementary/Middle. State retirement costs increased by 1%, and health insurance costs rose by 18%. Inflationary increases were also built into the budget—10% for energy, 50% for fuel, 3% for contracted custodial services, and 4% for supplies. The budget was approved unanimously.

The board approved the personnel report on an 8-1 vote. Among those listed in the report, Timothy “TJ” Tyler was named an assistant principal at Sims Middle School. He will be replacing Daniel Boland.

The meeting then adjourned.

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