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Scott Co. educators have emotional discussion at board meeting over teacher raises

Scott County educators are getting a raise this year, and many teachers say it won’t be nearly enough.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:09 PM EDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Scott County educators are getting a raise this year, and many teachers say it won’t be nearly enough.

But board of education members said they don’t have any more money in the budget to give. The conference room was full of disappointed and exhausted faces of educators Thursday evening.

The board did unanimously approve a 2% raise, which current educators believe isn’t enough to attract nor retain teachers.

But even though the vote was unanimous, some board members did become emotional, saying they wish they could do more.

“I’ve worked there for five years. I have an Associates of Arts, I have a college degree. And I have to go on food stamps to take care of my children. I work 35 hours a week,” said Jennifer Hewitt, a special needs para-educator.

Hewitt works at Western Elementary School and said she even worked four jobs last year, but that’s not an uncommon story among educators. Now, those with the Scott County Education Association are speaking out against the school board’s proposed 2% raise.

“Ultimately it is the quality of the teacher in the classroom that determines the educational outcome for the community,” said Courtney Casebolt, Scott County Education Association’s president.

Casebolt said they hoped to see a 5% increase, which still falls 3% below inflation. However, Superintendent Billy Parker said they simply don’t have the money to offer that with the final budget state legislators passed.

“We did get additional funding. And what I have put forth for you all to consider really does account for all of that. It’s certainly not what some have asked for, but it is, as Ms. Hewitt has said, do all that you can. And this is what we can do for sure,” Superintendent Parker said.

The superintendent said the district’s SEEK funding increased per student, but said property tax changes lowered that funding.

He explained the district is pulling from other funds to reach that 2% raise. Parker said they did get additional funding for two other areas. They received a slight increase in funding for transportation and full day kindergarten will be provided for year prior and the upcoming year.

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