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Teachers pay raise to begin early here

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle School Board voted 4-1 to implement a 6 percent pay increase for teachers, with the increase going into effect July 1.
The move will cost some $104,000 and was made at a regular board meeting Thursday night
Affected will be teachers and school administrators with 12, 11 and 10-month contracts. Other faculty members will receive the increase beginning with the start of the 2005-06 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed recommended the early start for the salary increase because, he said, "the money is there and it will be well spent."
"Historically, this is the way it has always been done, other school systems around us are doing it and the new school year for 12-month employees begins on July 1," he added.
Ronnie Abercrombie, board chairman, opposed the move.
"Where do we have $105,000 built into the budget?" he asked.
"The money's there but I can't tell you what account it's in," Reed said.
"Personally, I have a problem of starting the raise 90 days early when the money could be used for school improvements," Abercrombie added.
Board member Dr. Andy Dukes responded, "It makes sense to me because the school systems around us are doing it. To not do it would send a negative message to our teachers. To do it sends a positive message and could help us in our recruiting in the future."
"We have the situation of two of our lunchrooms needing improvements. In every school I look at I can see a real need to spend $20,000. What I want is what's best for our students. I have had teachers tell me they would rather see the money used for school projects," Abercrombie said.
"With respect to the lunchrooms, you are comparing apples with oranges," said board member Jeff Gray. He then asked Dr. Reed if the action taken on his recommendation would have any bearing on the proposed lunchroom projects.
"No," he answered.
On other matters recommended by Dr. Reed, the board acted as follows: