Harlan County School Board approves pay increase

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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The Harlan County School Board recently approved a pay increase for the 2024 – 2025 school year for the district’s classified and certified employees.
Superintendent Brent Roark advised the board on the district’s financial situation.
“I had hoped that our legislature would come through with enough money for significant raises,” Roark said. “They did give us a per child raise…but our ADA and our enrollment dropped.”
Roark explained the state provided a smaller funding increase than had been previously indicated.
“There is a little bit more to that,” Roark said. “The actual number is we come in about $300,000 over what we were last year in revenue. It takes $185,000 to give a one percent raise. We’re bringing in about $300,000 more in revenue, so you can do that math.”
Roark noted there are additional factors for the board to consider.
“Those are things that have been put in place by this board,” Roark said. “There are things you’ve told us to do that will drastically change the bottom line for us.”
Roark explained  the board’s financial policies in areas such as bus purchasing, staffing, banking, and other matters have resulted in a more favorable bottom line for the district.
“I tried my best to give you the information you need to make a good decision,” Roark told the board. “Our people are expecting some sort of salary increase. I hope you take all these things into consideration.”
Roark pointed out the district is under contract stipulating any pay increase will apply to both certified and classified employees equally.
“Whatever you do for certified (employees) you have to do the exact same thing for classified (employees),” Roark stated. “If you choose to do a percentage or an amount, it’s got to be the same across the board for everybody.”
Following further discussion, with Roark’s recommendation Board Chairmen Gary Farmer asked for a motion for a six percent salary increase for the 2024-2025 school year. The motion passed with no opposition.

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