Every Madison County Schools employee will be receiving at least a $1 pay raise to their hourly wage, the school board approved Thursday.

During a Madison County Schools’ Board of Education meeting Chief Financial Office Mark Woods went over the district’s salary schedule.

He explained to the board there was an increase. In addition, Woods said there is talk in the open market of a potential increase to the minimum wage. When the district saw this, they went back and looked at what is currently being paid in the open market, and they are making adjustments accordingly.

Woods said they are starting with increasing every wage by $1 per hour. The district decided to break everything down by hours instead of percentages because Woods said, when things are done by percentages, the lower end of the numbers can see a gap.

The district set a target floor rate for lower-end pay at $11 an hour. Woods said the district believed this was comparable to others in the market with the district's benefits and flexible schedules.

Woods added there were a few employees on the lower end who had their wage raised a bit more an hour to make up for gaps, and those raised more than $1 an hour to keep their steps program even. Woods noted this rise in wages was made possible by SR funds.

“It really puts us in a really good place with our employees, as far as making a market correction and getting us back into the market,” Woods said. “I also think it sets us in a really good spot if they do change the minimum wage… It gets us in a good spot moving forward, so we don’t have to try and make a huge jump in just one year.”

The board moved to approve the salary schedule, with many of the board members proclaiming the idea a good one.

“This is a great way for us to help our employees and get them a bit more competitive with what is going on with the market, and put them in a better place,” Lori Cobb, chair of the board of education for Madison County Schools, said. “… I’m thrilled to be able to do this for our employees.”

Other business:

The board is currently in the process of naming its two new career centers. They hosted a public work session on June 3, where they began to discuss those names, and Cobb said they would decide at the July meeting.

The board set a special meeting to be held on June 18 at 9 a.m. to consider construction proposals for the Clark Moore Middle School project.

The board canceled their June 24 meeting.

The board approved the change of a student support specialist position to an English language learner teaching position. This change will increase their pay and allow them to expand the services they’re providing to students.

The board approved the change of the title of technology programer to technology specialist.

In addition, the board approved the creation and ratification of a technology specialist position.

The board approved the creation and ratification of a teaching position at Farristown Middle School; they will use title one dollars and not impact the general fund.

The board approved the purchase of the student accident insurance.

The board approved the continuation/purchase of general liability, property, workers comp, fleet, and pollution insurance with Liberty Mutual.

The board approved the purchasing contracts as shown.

The board approved the purchase of furniture for eight classrooms for Madison Central.

The board approved the D&F and Award Contract of Cafeteria Equipment. The district went in with Campbell County, who was also expecting a large purchase, to bid. C&T Design won the bid, and the board approved the purchase of the district’s portion, which was $1,190,090.

The board approved the purchase of six new buses. Four of these buses will be 72 passenger buses which will cost $92,786 each, two of the buses will be special needs buses which will cost $109,918 each, for a total cost of $590,980.

The board approved the contract for therapy services.

The board approved orientation and mobility services. These services will be for students who have visual impairments.

The board approved the first reading of the 2021 through 2022 policy updates. Superintendent David Gilliam said there were not many changes, just a few language additions, and changes.

The board approved a purchase order to curriculum associates.

The board approved the annual school fees submitted by the schools within the district.

The board approved the section 125 plan for the district submitted by American Fidelity.

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