Upcoming Cleveland City School Budget Includes 2% Raises

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - by Tony Eubank

The Cleveland City School Board on Wednesday was advised that the upcoming budget will include a two percent pay increase for teachers and staff.

During a special called meeting, the board approved an amendment to the 2013-2014 general fund budget and the general fund budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

Director of Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff said he was very pleased to be able to announce the raise for the entirety of the school district’s staff, as he feels it is good for morale and that it sends the message that “every one of our employees is important to the daily operation of our schools.”

Board member Dr. Murl Dirksen commended Dr. Ringstaff on his hard work and said, ”Brenda (Carson) does a wonderful job of keeping track of exactly where the money is coming from and where the money is going. We never run in the red, we’re always in the black. She keeps a very tight reign on things. We never end up at the end of the year crunching numbers. Every month we get a budget report and, even though we might not look at it, I know that she does, and we know exactly what the expenditures are and what the revenue stream is. I can’t sing her praises enough.”

The amount budgeted for the 2014-2015 school year is $41,186,413.

Ms. Carson, the Cleveland City Schools finance director, explained in brief the 2013-104 budget amendment. The amendment was drawn up to include grant monies from various sources that include the SAFE schools and Pathways to Prosperity grants. The amendment also reflects some changes to expenditures and revenue.  The proposal has the budget increase to $40,585,217, a nearly $75,000 increase from the previously projected budget of $40,509,445. The Board moved to approve the budget amendment, along with a $37,250 decrease in the 2013-2014 School Nutrition Department’s budget.

Ms. Carson followed the current year’s budget amendments with a presentation of the 2014-2015 spending plan. The finance director outlined some of the key revenue sources and expenditures.  Among those key points are the sales and property tax revenues from both Bradley County and the city of Cleveland, and the two percent salary increase for all of Cleveland City School‘s employees.

The board’s final bit of business was to approve the city’s proposed dog park at the Teen Learning Center’s back lot, along with fencing the entire Spring Street side of the property.  Vice-Chairman Steve Morgan voiced some liability concerns over the idea of a dog park being so close to an elementary school. He and Dr. Dirksen cast the only dissenting votes, as the measure passed 4-2. Board member Peggy Pesterfield was absent

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