LOUISBURG -- For the first time in more than a dozen years, Franklin County Schools is doing a Classified Employee Salary Study to determine how what it is paying compares to similar positions in the region.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the schools discovered that one of its top competitors for talent is Franklin County government, which is paying significantly higher salaries for some key positions.
The schools' study, which is still preliminary, is being done by a company called School Efficiency Consultants.
Company officials noted that "salaries of school district employees have largely remained stagnant for years" and that "new staff members are brought in at salaries that sometimes are higher than veteran employees because that is what the market salary level requires."
In its preliminary conclusion, the consultants have tentatively decided that "with the exception of increases for changing positions or earning degrees, Franklin County Schools' employees, like others employed by public schools across the state, are long overdue for salary increases."
The consultants also tied the current situation to the 2008 economic crisis, saying "the result was that there were fewer employees and no salary increases for those who remained. Employees have remained on the same step on the salary schedule, creating inequities with new hires."
The 46-page report breaks down salaries for a variety of positions and, in some cases, compares the local school district's totals to those being paid by Franklin County government, Wake County government and the region's market average.
Accompanying this story are graphs showing a few of the examples.
SEC is a North Carolina based company with offices in Lexington, Raleigh and Charlotte. Presenting the report to the school board this week was Hank Hurd, one of the principals in the firm. He holds a Masters in Business degree, is a CPA and had a 30-year career as a school administrator before becoming a founding partner of SEC.
In other action Monday night, the school board:
• Took a preliminary look at how teacher contracts will be awarded during the 2018-19 school year including the requirements for obtaining one-, two-, three- and four-year employment contracts. The issue was provided for study only and a vote will be taken in December.
• Finalized the school district's budget which was essentially a formality since the document adopted Monday made no changes in the $82.6 million budget for 2017-18.
The board also put its stamp of approval on the compensation package for newly selected Schools Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Schuhler. Her salary will begin at $147,500 a year plus a $600 per month motor vehicle allowance and a $100 a month telephone allowance. She will receive an initial four-year contract.
Finally, the school board handled the following personnel issues and:
• ACCEPTED the resignations of Sarah Draffin, Royal Elementary, media coordinator; Kristen Earsley, Bunn High, English teacher; Tammy Hall, Franklinton High, Home Economics teacher; Amanda Williams, Edward Best Elementary, Grade 2 teacher; Katherine Wilson, Louisburg Elementary, Grade 1 teacher.
• HIRED the following certified personnel: Kristen Ciannamea, Cedar Creek Middle, Art teacher; Christie D'Amore, Youngsville Elementary, EC General - teacher; Laura Ramirez, Bunn Elementary, ESL teacher.
• ACCEPTED the resignations of Doug Morgan, Finance Department, payroll coordinator; Denise Quinn, Royal Elementary, teacher Assistant.
• HIRED Alicia Black, Royal Elementary, data manager/treasurer; Shyena Blackmond, Franklinton Elementary, teacher assistant; Jerry Macklin, substitute custodian; Holly Strickland, Bunn High, Distance Learning Lab facilitator; Leighton Washington, Cedar Creek Middle, head custodian; Patricia Wilson, Youngsville Elementary, custodian.
• HIRED Leann Lancaster as a substitute teacher at various sites.
• HIRED as substitute child nutrition workers: Mary Demilia and Amber Yarbourgh.