FCPS sees more teacher interest after budget increase

FCPS sees more teacher interest after budget increase
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:50 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Fayette County schools is already seeing the impact of its new teacher salary.

The district approved the highest starting salary in the state this week.

For Fayette County Public Schools it’s an important milestone.

FCPS Board chair, Tyler Murphy, says increasing the starting teacher salary is already increasing interest.

“One of the things we’ve heard over the past several years is teacher recruitment and retention has really been the struggle. Part of that is because it still exists, the significant teacher pay gap,” said Murphy.

The starting salary for the 2023-2024 school year will now be more than 50,000 dollars.

For someone like Jessica Hiler, who started her career as a teacher in Fayette County nearly 24 years ago this is a huge improvement.

“It’s nice to have some compensation for that work that you’re doing and be acknowledged for that,” said Hiler.

She says she started out making about $24,000 a year. Just over two decades later that number has more than doubled.

“It’s hard you get to the end of the year, and you’re like oh gosh I’m ‘teacher tired’ just really tired. But when you know you’re going to come back, and that’s the compensation that you’re going to be getting for the next year there’s a lot of energy behind that,” said Hiler.

Hiler and Murphy both say it could attract teachers from surrounding counties as well.

With these investments, they hope it will pave a path of change and show teachers they’re a valued part of the community.

“Not only do we see a shortage of numbers, but too often we see a shortage of dignity and respect for the folks who work is so vital and important to our mission. That’s why we wanted to take this step and make an important investment,” said Murphy.

Murphy says this raise applies to everyone, but the pay scale is based on years of service. He says the average pay raise will be 8% with a minimum raise of 4%.