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


Two Men Arrested For Burglary At A Hixson Pike Pharmacy

Police arrested two suspects after a Sunday burglary of a Hixson Pike pharmacy resulted in over $1,000 of medication being stolen. After the store's alarm went off, police arrived at the scene, where they observed glass breakage.  An eyewitness said he saw a man run from the business into a gold Oldsmobile sedan. He said the vehicle then fled down Azalean Drive.   ... (click for more)

McCray Arrested After Attacking Man And Woman On Wilcox Boulevard

A man was arrested on multiple counts of aggravated robbery after attacking a man and woman outside a gas station on Wilcox Boulevard and taking their money at gunpoint Friday night. The robber was later identified as 22-year-old Kamaari Vonte McCray.  The man and woman both said they were exiting the gas station when they were approached by two men.   They said ... (click for more)

Why So Much For A Rail Study?

From the things that make you go hmm department. Ok, so the feds are giving us $400k and the city is kicking in another $300k for a total of $700k to do a study on having in town rail service. Why so much for a study? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with Chattanooga having some passenger trains running around. I get that. It's awesome. We've needed it for a long time. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)

Lookouts and Minnesota Twins Sign 4-Year Agreement

In a fast-paced, high stakes game of musical chairs with the three players from Major League Baseball - Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado - vying for one chair (Chattanooga Lookouts), the Twins from Minneapolis came up the winner Wednesday. Officials from the Minnesota ball club flew to Chattanooga Tuesday and signed contract papers for a four year player development ... (click for more)

Hixson Claims Top Spot In 6-AA With Win At Central

Hixson and Central entered their volleyball match on Tuesday tied for first place in District 6-AA as both were unbeaten in three matches. The Lady Wildcats have that top spot all to themselves after pinning a 3-1 defeat on the Lady Pounders in a match held at Brown Middle School's Carole Wilson Gymnasium. Hixson won the first set with ease by a score of 25-12 before winning ... (click for more)