WUFT News

Lafayette educational professionals see delayed pay increase, lack of funds

By on February 12th, 2014

Educational professionals in the Lafayette school district normally receive a yearly pay increase in July, referred to as a step, but for the past 7 months they have had to wait.

Tammy Maund, the financial adviser for the county, said the delay has a lot to do with taxes — and when the money comes in.

Lafayette schools depend on local taxes, such as property taxes, to pay their staff, Maund said. The contract states a step increase will not occur if the money is not available.

“You just don’t have [the money] in the beginning,” said Robby Edwards, Lafayette schools superintendent.

Now the district has the funds to give the step raises and Lafayette school workers will each receive about $750 in their February paycheck, the amount they have been shorted in step increases since July, Edwards said.

Lafayette County is home to two schools: an elementary and a high school. The high school has grades six through 12. Both schools have about 600 students, said Stewart Hancock, principal of Lafayette High School.

Hancock said the missing money didn’t affect him and his wife negatively, but as a single check, it was a sizeable amount. Hancock’s wife is a teacher at the high school.

Hancock said he wasn’t surprised by the district’s inability to provide the step. He feels most districts are on just as tight of a budget as they are.

He said that money isn’t the same anymore, especially with the current economy.

Edwards said Lafayette’s situation is “out of the ordinary.”

Executive Director of the Florida School Board Association Wayne Blanton said Florida school districts are unable to provide the step on occasion.

Blanton said it is difficult to compare districts because different districts receive different funding amounts.

“The funding formula is extremely complicated,” Blanton said.

Maund said Lafayette depends on taxes to make payroll, which is why the district was forced to borrow $100,000 for November payroll.

She said funds are transferred on Nov. 8 and Nov. 26, and payroll was on Nov. 22. She said she knew the district would be able to pay the $100,000 back “once the 26th rolled around.”

Lafayette needed that money.

“If the money is there, the teachers get a step,” Hancock said.

Teachers, specifically, received two extra pay increases this year.

Edwards said Gov. Rick Scott set aside $480 million for teacher salaries for the 2013/2014 school year. As a result, teachers will start 2015 with three additional steps, meaning the districts are going to have to pay for those increases.

“So next year, you’ve already raised the bar,” Edwards said. “From a financial standpoint, it makes me nervous.”

He said he doesn’t trust that there will be more money in 2015 to help cover the pay increase.

“You’re playing a guessing game,” he said.


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Waiting for author to email caption w/ names

Eastside High School Culinary Team Wins Sixth Place In National Competition

Students of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts competed in the National Prostart Invitational in Anaheim, California, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The team came in sixth place.


**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Students at Sante Fe College have opportunities to seek baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. Santa Fe is one of 28 state colleges in Florida, which offer a combined 175 baccalaureate degree programs.

Four-Year Degree Limitation Proposed By State Senator Sparks Debate

Senator Joe Negron proposed to limit baccalaureate programs in Florida community colleges in a recent Senate Higher Education Committee. Santa Fe provost Ed Bonahue argues that the attention should be placed on enrollment, not the programs.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments