West Carroll School Board members passed the 2022-2023 budget during the Oct. 6 meeting.
Generally budgets are passed at the July and August meetings. However, Director of Schools Preston Caldwell said because there were new board members following the election he wanted to explain the budget before it passed.
In a workshop prior to the regular meeting the director explained different points of the $6 million budget that wound up with about a $5 million surplus.
A 4% pay increase was given to teachers and support staff in last year’s budget. However, teachers did not get a pay increase this year but there was $1,500 to $2,000 provided for support staff this budget year.
He said summer busing this year cost the school district $17,000.
New board member Betty Wallace, a former teacher and school administrator, said she wanted the community to know that she supported teachers. “I have a hard time with experience raises only,” she said.
Caldwell said his main focus was the support staff who was only making $8 an hour.
The tax rate is $1.2207 per $100 of assessed property and has not been increased.
Among the eight board policies passed on the second and final reading, three were new ones.
The new ones included: Reporting Child Abuse, Pediculosis (Head Lice) and Employment of Retirees.
All employees working directly with students annually must complete the child abuse training program required by state law. It shall be the responsibility of the principal or school nurse to notify the parents and guardians in the event a student has head lice.
A letter should be sent home with the student to explain the condition, requirements for readmission and deadlines for satisfactory completion of the treatment. On employing retired teachers, these teachers may be employed for up to 120 days per year without loss of retirement benefits. The retired teachers may substitute teach for additional days if the director of schools certifies in writing that no other qualified personnel are available to substitute teach.
New rules were passed regarding school trips concerning chaperones and who must sign off on them. The West Carroll Elementary School will have new carpet in the work room and the library. Mid-South Flooring of Jackson was awarded the bid which was $57,000. The amount will be reduced by $2,500 if the book shelves are not moved.
New intercom systems will be installed at the primary and elementary schools by Central Technologies of Germantown.
The elementary school’s bid was $43,028.66 and the primary school’s bid was $38,275.95. There bids were for the beta analog systems.