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ORT: OR BOE expected to ask city for additional funding

According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, the Oak Ridge School Board expects to ask the City Council for additional money to fund a 2.5-percent salary increase for teachers and staff members.

The total amount needed to fund the salary increase is $855,810, after about $98,000 worth of budget adjustments.

Officials say that most of the money for the salary increase could be available if the city agrees to continue $538,046 worth of funding that was given to the school system last year on a one-time basis to help pay for a digital device initiative. In other words, the school board will ask the city to make that $538,046 a recurring source of funding, as opposed to non-recurring (one-time) money.

The school board would then ask for an additional $317,764 on top of the $538,046, or $855,810 total.

The roughly $317,000 in additional new money to be requested from the city would be a 2.1 percent increase in the city’s funding for the schools, compared to last year.

A “bare-bones” budget presented by school administrators to the school board on May 9 had not asked for any additional money from the city. That proposed budget includes step increases that would apply to those who are eligible, but it does not include pay raises. Under that budget, roughly 59 percent of the staff would receive no increase.

The Oak Ridge Board of Education can adopt the budget proposed by Oak Ridge Schools administrators, or it can make changes, as it did Wednesday.

Wednesday’s budget meeting was the first of two readings on the schools budget.

The second reading and adoption of the budget is scheduled for 6 pm on Monday May 22 at the School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue.

The budget will be presented to the Oak Ridge City Council during a special meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday May 30.

The next fiscal year starts July 1.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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