KNOX COUNTY — On Thursday evening, the Knox County School Board approved several raises and new positions that will impact staff and student success for years to come.
The board voted a 4% salary increase for all staff effective July 1. This is the largest one-time percentage increase since record keeping of these changes began in 1999. The last increase was 2% mid-year in fiscal year 2020. Prior to Thursday’s vote, the largest increases were 3% in fiscal years 2018 and 2006.
“We truly believe we have the best staff as they have risen above the call of duty during the pandemic and continue to make investments in our students that will last a lifetime,” Superintendent Jeremy Ledford said. “Tonight, the board returned that investment to the employees with a 4% raise.”
Over the past three years, the board has approved a total of $5,000 in allowances for employees active at the time the allowance was paid. This provided immediate and much-needed support to staff during the pandemic as they taught new methods, constantly cleaned high-touch areas and ensured that classrooms, cafeterias and buses were sanitized.
“During the pandemic our staff were pitching in, delivering meals to homes, taking over the duties of other staff when they had to be off, it was a real team effort that allowed our students to learn and to stay healthy,” Ledford said. “This stipend was just a small amount to make up for all the extra work everyone put in to keep our schools open.”
The board also added several athletic and academic coaching positions to the list of those receiving stipends for serving in similar roles. These additions included:
-Cross-country elementary, 1 leader position per elementary at $500 each
-Odyssey of the Spirit elemental, 1 leader position per elemental at $500 each
– Elementary Grade 3 and 4 Men’s Basketball, 1 head position per elementary at $500 each
-Elementary 3rd and 4th grade women’s basketball, 1 head position per elementary at $500 each
-Middle School Cross Country, 2 Head positions (one for Knox County Middle and one for Lynn Camp Middle) at $2,000 each, and 2 Assistant positions at $500 each at each school
Several college and athletic coaches will see an increase to their current allocation over the coming year, including:
-Increased college dance team sponsor salary from $1,000 to $2,000
-High School Assistant Coach salary increased from $1,000 to $2,000
-Increased the High School Football Assistant Coach Pool from $12,000 to $24,000
-Increased the High School Basketball Assistant Coach Pool from $8,000 to $12,000
-Increased Assistant High School Girls Basketball Coach Pool from $8,000 to $12,000
-Increased Cheer Elemental Coach salary from $500 to $1000
-Increased Grade 5 & 6 Men’s Basketball Head Coach salary from $500 to $1,000
-Increased Elementary Grade 5 & 6 Girls Basketball Head Coach salary from $500 to $1,000
-High School Academic Head Coach salary increased from $2,000 to $3,000
-Increased college academic head coach salary from $1,000 to $2,000
-Increased elementary school academic head coach salary from $500 to $1,000
Officials believe these increases will better align Knox County with surrounding district compensation and help the district recruit and retain some of the best varsity and athletic coaches.
“We had a great school year and we look forward to the year ahead. These increases for our staff show that we appreciate what they do for our students, that we believe in them and that we are moving in the right direction. for being one of the best performing districts in the state,” Ledford said.