On Thursday night, the Knox County Board of Education approved several increases and new positions that will impact both staff and student achievement for years to come.
First, the Board voted on a 4% salary increase for all staff beginning July 1. This is the largest one time percentage increase since record keeping of such changes started in 1999. The last increase was a mid year 2% in the 2020 fiscal year. Prior to Thursday’s vote, the largest increases were 3% in the 2018 and 2006 fiscal years.
“We truly believe we have the best staff as they went above the call of duty during the pandemic and continue to make investments in our students that will last throughout their lifetime,” said Superintendent Jeremy Ledford. “Tonight, the Board returned that investment to employees with the 4% increase.”
Over the past three years, the Board has approved a total of $5,000 in stipends for active employees at the time the stipend was paid. This provided much needed, immediate support, to our staff during the pandemic as they were teaching in new methods, constantly cleaning high touch areas, and making sure our classrooms, cafeterias, and buses were sanitized.
“During the pandemic our staff were pitching in, delivering meals to home, covering the duties of other staff when they had to be on leave, it was a true team effort that kept our students learning and healthy. This stipend was just a small amount to compensate for all the extra work that everyone put in to keep our schools open.”
The Board also added several athletic and academic coach positions to their list of those who are paid stipends for serving in similar roles. Those additions included:
- Elementary Cross Country, 1 Head Position per elementary at $500 each,
- Elementary Odyssey of the Mind, 1 Head Position per elementary at $500 each,
- Elementary 3rd and 4th grade Boys Basketball, 1 Head Position per elementary at $500 each,
- Elementary 3rd and 4th grade Girls Basketball, 1 Head Position per elementary at $500 each,
- and Middle School Cross Country, 2 Head Positions (one for Knox County Middle and one for Lynn Camp Middle) at $2,000 each, and 2 Assistant Positions at $500 each at each school.
Several academic and athletic coaches will see an increase to their existing stipend in the year ahead:
- Increased Middle School Dance Team Sponsor Pay from $1,000 to $2,000,
- Increased High School Assistant Cheer Coach Pay from $1,000 to $2,000,
- Increased High School Assistant Football Coach Pool from $12,000 to $24,000,
- Increased High School Assistant Boys Basketball Coach Pool from $8,000 to $12,000,
- Increased High School Assistant Girls Basketball Coach Pool from $8,000 to $12,000,
- Increased Elementary Cheer Coach Pay from $500 to $1,000,
- Increased Elementary 5th & 6th grade Boys Basketball Head Coach Pay from $500 to $1,000,
- Increased Elementary 5th & 6th grade Girls Basketball Head Coach Pay from $500 to $1,000,
- Increased High School Academic Head Coach Pay from $2,000 to $3,000,
- Increased Middle School Academic Head Coach Pay from $1,000 to $2,000,
- and Increased Elementary School Academic Head Coach Pay from $500 to $1,000.
These increases better align Knox County to the pay of surrounding districts, helping us recruit and retain some of the best coaches in both academics and athletics.
“We had a great school year and we are looking forward to the year ahead. These increases for our staff show that we value what they are doing for our students, that we believe in them, and that we are headed in the right direction to being a top performing district in the state,” said Ledford.