KCS budget proposal includes roughly 2 percent pay increases

Rick Wagner • May 9, 2019 at 2:18 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport City Schools’ proposed 2019-20 budget includes pay increases for employees running about 2 percent when accounting for step increases and cost-of-living increases

The Board of Education approved the draft budget during a called meting Tuesday. The revenue and spending plan includes about $1.6 million more in projected revenues than the current budget.

The BOE voted 4-0, with Vice President Todd Golden absent, to approve the budget proposal of  $88,722,141, which includes the general purpose school budget of $78,386,400. The remainder includes the self-supporting School Nutrition Fund, Special Projects and School Special Projects.

The proposal will go before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for review at a work session at 2 p.m. Thursday, and a vote on it and the other city budgets will have first and second readings in June.

As for cuts in spending, the proposed budget would include the reduction of one systemwide administrator and one systemwide support position.

According to KCS Chief Finance Officer David Frye, considering revenue projections for 2019-20, KCS should have about $1.6 million additional funding over 2018-19 levels. This and the reduced spending, according to Frye and Assistant Superintendent of Administration Andy True, would be used to fund items such as:

◾Step increases for both classified and certified staff, a total cost of about $730,000, and a cost of living increase of some 0.5 percent for both certified and classified staff, a total of some $260,000). When adding the step increase plus the cost of living increase, school officials estimated that KCS staff will see a salary increase of about 2 percent compared to 2018-19 levels.

◾An additional special education teacher, custodial support for the new Dobyns-Bennet High School Science and Technology Center and the shift of three classroom teaching positions to behavior support teachers at the middle schools and Cora Cox Academy. 

◾Other personnel cost increases such as coaching supplement step increases, increases to operations, maintenance and transportation, risk administration and retirement funding.

◾Additional increases to line items based on identified needs and increased costs, including investments into increased mental health services, curriculum and instruction supplies, career technical education expenses, student travel, extended contracts, professional development, technology, state-required background checks, a safe schools grant local match, utilities, maintenance expenses, insurance, vehicle expenses and debt service.

◾Funds to purchase one additional regular education school bus utilizing Unreserved Fund Balance funds.

The board also voted 4-0 to amend the 2019-19 budget to take funds from the KCS Unreserved Fund Balance to repair the lower portion of the D-B parking lot. The proposed amount of funding, $352,044, would reduce the total amount in the Fund Balance to approximately 6 percent of the 2019-20 budget, more than the Tennessee-recommended level of 3 percent.

The repairs to the lower lot will coincide with updates to the upper parking lot, which will be completed as a part of the Science and Technology Center construction project. The combined parking lot improvements are to run from the last week of May through July 12, with anticipated completion before the start of Fun Fest. Glass Machinery and Excavation won the lower parking lot bid.

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