School board favors Gilliard’s plan to hike supplements for teachers and coaches

When the Grady County Board of Education gives final approval to its 2015-2016 spending plan later this month there will be additional money in the budget not only for teachers, but also for athletic coaches.
Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard and Finance Officer Dan Broome outlined proposals Tuesday night to increase local teacher supplements and also increase supplements for athletic coaches.
Finance Officer Broome reminded board members about previous discussions that teachers receive step increases in pay every year from years 0 to eight and then beginning in year nine there is a step every other year. However, at year 21 teachers are maxed out and receive no other step increases on the state salary scale.
“You had asked us to look at the supplement schedule and to increase it this year as opposed to waiting,” Broome said.
Based on the proposal developed by Broome and Dr. Gilliard local supplements would increase $25 for teachers with five to nine years of experience; $150 for those with 10 to 14 years service; $275 for teachers with 15 to 19 years experience; $500 for those with 20 to 24 years; and $725 for teachers with 25 plus years of service.
The revised supplement schedule will increase the school system’s annual budget by $106,425 based on the current staffing with nearly half the money, $51,475 going to the county’s senior teachers with 25-plus years experience.
Under the proposed supplement plan, $26,000 will be paid to local teachers with 20 to 24 years service and $18,375 to those with 15 to 19 years followed by $9,300 to teachers with five to nine years and $1,275 to the county’s teachers with four or less years of service.
“You could come up with any number you wished, but we didn’t want to go so big that we couldn’t keep it going. We don’t want to be in a position where we have to back up,” Broome said.
The finance officer said the increased supplements for teachers was to give back to those who over the last five to six years had suffered from furlough days and cuts to local supplements, all of which have been fully restored.
Dr. Gilliard also shared with the board a revised supplement schedule for athletics proposed by Athletic Director Tom Fallaw. Overall, the revised athletic supplement schedule increases the budget by $600, according to the superintendent and finance officer.
The superintendent said the new schedule provided supplements for some coaches who have never received supplements before.
“It’s still not all where we need to be. I was shocked several employees coaching did not receive any compensation per se for all the sports they were coaching,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Board member Jeff Worsham voiced his support for the new supplement schedule. “Some of the coaches in other schools in our region make a lot more than some of our coaches make,” Worsham said.
“We take the heat for that number (total athletic supplements) but that total has not increased but about $25,000 in the 20-plus years Dan (Broome) has been here. We still need to grow that number,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Board Vice Chairman Laura Register also spoke in support of the plan. “I like that we are increasing the pay for our veteran teachers and also recognizing that we need to do more for our coaches. We are trying to bring everyone on an even playing field and I like that,” she said.

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