April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Schools offering 2 percent pay raise for some employees

By By Paul [email protected]

Some Flat Rock-Hawcreek Schools employees will see a 2-percent pay increase retroactive to Aug. 1.

School board members approved the across-the-board pay increase for noncertified employees during a public meeting last week. Those include custodians and maintenance workers, but not cafeteria workers, who are handled separately.

Superintendent Shawn Price said noncertified employees last school year settled for a one-time bonus of between $100 and $300. But he added that the district's financial situation has improved.

Case in point: The majority of the district's 47 teachers a few weeks ago reached a contract agreement that hiked their salaries between 1.5 and 4.3 percent. The year before, they too settled for a flat bonus of $430.

Despite the financial improvement, the district must continue its tradition of borrowing money because of the timing of its property tax draws. The Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. typically receives its first tax draw in June, said Jeff Cleland, the school corporation's business manager. He said the district has to sustain itself until then with bank loans.

Tech Credit Union will provide the $817,000 loan to the district this year at a 1.21-percent interest rate. Of that total, $553,000 will go toward Referendum Debt Service, $194,000 will go toward Capital Projects and $70,000 will go toward bus replacement. The Referendum Debt Service fund is for the taxpayer approved renovation and merger of Hope Elementary School with Hauser Jr./Sr. High School in 2010.

Interest on the loan will be paid Dec. 30, 2016.

In other business Tuesday, Price updated the school board about the release of ISTEP+ scores. The state is planning to release the scores in mid to late January, around the time of the board's next meeting. Price promised a more thorough update at that time.

The scores already are about four months late because of a scoring glitch. That leaves the district little time to implement substantial academic changes if improvements are needed, Price said.

ISTEP+ measures achievement of 3rd-to-8th-grade students in the areas of English/language arts, math, science and social studies. The state uses those scores to assign letter grades to schools under the A-F Accountability system.

Students took the exam almost a year ago.[[In-content Ad]]