Lebanon schools budget includes salary raises

Xavier Smith • Jul 20, 2017 at 4:26 PM

The Lebanon Special School District approved its 2017-2018 budget, which includes pay raises for employees, as well as increases in some benefits and coaching stipends.

Scott Benson, Lebanon schools director, said the budget includes three percent pay raises for classified employees and two percent raises for certified employees. Benson said the increases also include step raises and longevity pay for employees who have been employed with the district for at least 21 years.

The budget also includes daily pay for substitute teachers from $54.40–$62.50 to $72-$85, $269,000 for instructional purposes and increases to coaching supplements.

Funds for technology upgrades throughout the district are also included in the budget, as the district will replace all middle school Google Chromebooks and prepare to introduce one-to-one devices in Kindergarten through second grade.

Lebanon schools staff said the budget only slightly increased from last year.

“We were able to give raises again, which we have in the past,” board chairman Steve Jones said. “It’s going to be a good year. We got a lot of stuff going for us.”

Benson also highlighted several renovations projects expected to be completed by the end of the school year. The projects include: roofing at Castle Heights Elementary and Coles Ferry Elementary schools; windows at Sam Houston Elementary and Byars Dowdy Elementary schools; bleachers at Sam Houston; secured entrance at Walter J. Baird Middle, Coles Ferry Elementary and Castle Heights Elementary schools; HVAC at Walter J. Baird and more.

Angie Ballard, LSSD child nutrition program supervisor, also gave an update on the district’s summer food program, which runs until Friday.

“As of Monday, we fed 6,767 lunches. We did 575 breakfasts at Coles Ferry in the month of June. A lot of those were students in-house, but we did have some walk-ins,” Ballard said.

Ballard also noted the district utilizes a small van in addition to the popular Neon Bus for the summer food program.

“There are some days when the small van serves just as many as the bus does,” said Ballard, who said the department has looked at expanding the program.

Ballard also praised the TEAM NEON (LSSD’s child nutrition team), which include: Pam McPeak, Alexandrea  Mofield, Rhonda Richie, Nell Haynes, Christine Johnson, Carmen Holmes, Toni Buchanan, Shawnie Oberholtzer, Debbie Spencer and Lynne Jordan, bus driver.

The district will hold an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. for its new central office at 397 N. Castle Heights Ave.

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