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County teachers could see one percent raise

County teachers could see one percent raise
Educators in Weakley County schools could expect to see a one percent salary increase this fiscal year after commissioners and the county school board agreed to the budget offered by Weakley County Director of Schools Randy Frazier last week.
Frazier told school board members on Thursday that with cuts in specific utilities for the next fiscal year, the new budget could include a one percent salary increase for all certified teachers in Weakley County.
The director of schools proposed the change-out of lighting throughout the gyms across the schools system as well as a decrease in electricity usage would allow the school budget to accommodate the salary increase.
“This is, in my opinion, what we owed the teachers from last year,” Frazier told board members.
School board member Barbara Trentham questioned whether utility increases in specific cities within the county would impact the budget.
Frazier explained that the money budgeted for the previous fiscal year (2009-10) in utilities were more than what was actually needed.
“I feel like it will be good. We’ll save just $6,000 a year at Westview High School alone by changing out the light bulbs in the gym. We’ll be doing that in the fall at all schools,” Frazier added.
 The board agreed to the budget proposed by Frazier and passed it on to the county’s Finance, Ways and Means and Health, Education and Economic Development committees who approved the budget later that afternoon.
The budget must now be approved by the Weakley County Board of Commissioners.
It was the same meeting that proposed the salary increase for teachers, however, that brought an announcement by Frazier for a possible three percent increase in health insurance in January 2011.
Frazier announced that employees could see as much as a three percent increase in health insurance, according to Weakley County Finance Director Shawn Francisco.
 In other announcements, Frazier told board members that Martin Primary and Martin Elementary schools will now share a nurse with the addition of an LPN.
“It is a tremendous benefit to have a nurse in your building,” Frazier added.
Weakley County parents will get a reprieve in the upcoming school year with the announcement by the director of schools that every school in the county will offer free breakfast for its students.
According to Frazier, 56 percent of the system was already a part of the free and reduced meals program.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and all students should have the option at school to eat breakfast,” Frazier said.
Students at Dresden Elementary, Martin Elementary, Martin Primary, Martin Middle and Sharon schools will be served breakfast in the classroom. Staff at those schools will also receive free breakfast.
The meal also includes a drink.
Frazier announced there would not be a price increase for school lunches.
The school board will meet again at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5 at the Weakley County Department of Education in Dresden.

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