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BOE motions for salary schedule, 106 non-renewals fail

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Board of Education considered an updated salary schedule and non-renewing 106 employees during a meeting on April 20.

Chief School Financial Officer Alisa Benson told the board that the proposed salary schedule was the state minimum requirements for a salary schedule.

The motion failed with board members Keith Moore, Lori Patterson and Brad Carter voting against. Board President Pam Price, Vice President Jaqueline Sullivan and member Chris Smith voted in favor. Board member Angie Sanderson was absent.

Price explained in an interview after the meeting that the last recorded adoption of a salary schedule was in 1995.

The salary matrix for teachers posted on the school system’s website under Human Resources states that it became effective on July 2019.

The proposed salary schedule would have brought the school system in line with state requirements and given a system by which to have more consistency in how salaries and raises for employees are determined.

Price said “there is no rhyme or reason” to the current system.

Many of the non-renewals being considered were to create new contracts for the positions based on the new salary schedule since the employees were being non-renewed before reaching tenure status, according to Price.

“If you get hired back after your third year, you’re tenured,” Price said.

Current employees, who were not renewed, would have had the option to reapply for those positions.

Smith asked how rehiring for the positions would be handled. Griffin said that if the motion passed he would post the positions the next morning, and central office staff had offered to help in the process. An audience member commented to the board that there was only one person to handle personnel.

The vote to approve the non-renewals failed with Moore, Patterson and Carter voting against. Price, Sullivan and Smith voted in favor.

Recommendations for non-renewals are made by principals to Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin to present to the board for approval.

Price expects both votes to be reconsidered at the next meeting.

Prior to the vote on April 20, Price read a statement to the school system employees present.

“It has come to our attention that several employees and community members have expressed concerns about the changes in some of our financial procedures, including supplements and having to adjust our salary schedule,” Price said. “The board hears you and understands you. We want and need all of you to understand that we did not get to this place overnight, but knowing that we are in a less than ideal place financially, we must do things to ensure that we are good stewards of the board’s funds and act in a fiscal responsible manner. Although we are working with our CSFO, it is the board as a whole that is charged with making these decisions.”

She asked those present to be understanding in the process.

“We feel like some of you all think you are not appreciated and that is so far from the truth,” Price said.

According to the finance report from Benson, as of February, the school system has received 44% of the budgeted revenues, but had spent 47% of the budget.

“That means we are still spending more than we are taking in, and we are trying to find ways to curb that,” Benson said.

The next voting session of the Chilton County Board of Education will be a special called meeting on May 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office building at 1705 Lay Dam Road

in Clanton. A work session to discuss finance and architects will be held on April 26 at 5 :30 p.m. at the Central Office building with a voting session at 6 p.m.