Lamar County teachers to see slight raise

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Teachers in the Lamar County School District will see a small increase in pay for the next school year compared to the 2017-18 session, according to the pay scale approved by the district’s Board of Trustees at last week’s meeting.

Teachers with less than three years’ experience with A certification received an annual salary of $34,090 during the 2017-18 school year. That increases to $35,040 for the 2018-19 session – a raise of $950.

That annual increase is carried over in the AA, AAA and AAAA certifications. An extra $100 is seen from an increase in local supplement amounts from the current school year to the upcoming year.

The pay scale introduction during the June 12 meeting in Purvis came as the board was preparing for a public hearing on its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-19 on June 21. The board is proposing an increased revenue from ad valorem taxes of almost $1.5 million.

The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at the Lamar County School District Office, 424 Martin Luther King Drive, Purvis. Superintendent Tess Smith said the school district’s budget was affected with the loss of Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding from the formula.

“We took a huge hit last year with the loss of our high growth money, causing us to have to decrease salaries to teachers and administrators,” she said. “We have worked diligently all year to restore everyone. We strive to be good stewards of tax dollars and will continue in that vain.”

According to the notice of the public hearing, the current budget revenue is projected to be

$89,413,900.49. Of that amount, 27.59 percent or $24,675,332 of such revenue is obtained through ad valorem taxes.

For the 2019 fiscal year, the proposed budget has a total projected revenue of $98,045,016.38. Of that amount, 27.13 percent or $26,600,000.00 is proposed to be financed through a total ad valorem tax levy.

The fiscal year 2018 budget request was the same as 2017, which did not force a countywide tax increase.

At the public hearing June 21, any citizen of the Lamar County School District can speak for a reasonable amount of time and offer tangible evidence before any vote is taken.