County BOE discusses minimum wage increase

Gwendolyn Holliday Staff Reporter gjoseph@civitasmedia.com

February 26, 2014

HAZARD—Spring breaks and snow days weren’t the only things on the minds of school board members Thursday during the Perry County Board of Education’s regular called meeting. A proposed bill that, if passed, could have negative effects on the district’s budget, was a hot topic of discussion.

Kentucky House Bill 1, one of the biggest concerns brought up in the meeting, would raise the minimum wage in Kentucky from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over a three year period and has been proposed as a way to deal with pay equity problems.

Perry County School District Finance Officer Jody Maggard said the minimum wage increase could heavily impact the district.

“It will be very, very substantial to our school district,” he said on Thursday.

Maggard went on to explain that the district was on a classified pay scale, which means the minimum amount that is paid per hour is $8.55. If those employees are given a pay increase, then every employee on that same pay scale has to be increased proportionally.

Maggard said he looked at the cost to the school district if HB1 were to pass, finding it to be upwards of $660,000.

This type of wage increase, while some employees may believe is a beneficial decision, would not necessarily be funded by any increases in funding to the schools, whereas a raise to certified teachers’ salaries by the state may be accompanied by additional state funds to help cover the added cost, Maggard explained. This would mean the board would have to find funds in the budget to cover that increase.

In other business, the board also approved technology standards, the student code of conduct and discussed the 2015 budget. The board also recieved an academic update about Perry County Central High School from Kim Cornett.