Jefferson Co. school board OKs pay hikes

March 24, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

Jefferson Co. school board OKs pay hikes

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County school teachers will receive pay raises, though the county school board is keeping the levy rate the same for residents.

The $553,000 allotted for teacher and personnel raises is being funded through a school excess levy passed in November by Jefferson County residents, said board spokeswoman Liz Thompson.

The raise, approved Monday night by the Jefferson County Board of Education, is the first for county educators since the 1989-1990 school year.


The county raise follows a state raise of $750 for school employees.

With the local raise, 511 teachers and other professional staff will receive increases ranging from $250 to $1,000 a year based on years of experience.

The 285 service staff, which includes aides, clerical workers, bus drivers, cooks and maintenance workers, will receive an increase between $180 and $750 a year.

"We are fortunate to be able to attract such qualified employees, particularly in the light of the fact that they can easily travel to surrounding states where they would receive more money," said Jefferson County Board of Education President Peter H. Dougherty. "It is important to remain competitive in our salaries so that our teachers, service personnel and administrators continue to work within the Jefferson County school system."

"We feel you are being fair to us and we're being fair to you," said Diane Franks, who represented the service employees during negotiations with Superintendent David Markoe.

Tom Lange, liaison for the West Virginia Education Association, said teachers still won't be paid what they could make in nearby Maryland or Virginia, but said the raise was appreciated.

"What's really important is to recognize the senior teachers who've dedicated their lives to the boys and girls of Jefferson County," Lange said.

The board also decided to keep the school levy at the same rate as last year. The levy rate will be formally approved at an April 21 meeting.

County residents have their property taxed at a total of 94.46 cents per $100 of assessed property value for Jefferson County schools. A property valued at $100,000 is taxed at $566.76 a year for the school system.

The levy generates about $14 million a year for the schools.

The school system plans to spend about $750,000 for building repair and maintenance and another $563,0000 for classroom, library and vehicle supplies.

Another $595,000 is needed to start all-day kindergarten, to hire additional teachers and aides and to purchase supplies and portable classrooms.

School officials expect an increase of about 250 students next school year.

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