ALBEMARLE — The Stanly County Board of Education met Tuesday to approve funding for school projects and vote on changes affecting teacher pay. The board voted unanimously in favor of two different agenda items that positively affect teacher pay for the 2022-23 school year.
The first will change the structure for determining teacher supplements from a flat dollar basis to a percentage of pay basis. The supplements will be a hold harmless agreement, meaning that nobody will make less money than they previously had.
“Anytime your pay would increase, your supplement would increase accordingly, which I think is excellent,” said board member Anthony Graves. “The last part about hold harmless was when we decided to make the recommendation to move to a percentage, it was possible that some people based on the previous scale would actually get less money. So that’s what this hold harmless provision is about. No one is going to lose money with this change.”
The second item approved was the movement of one of the two supplement payments from December to be paid instead in November, helping provide money earlier to teachers for the holiday season.
The board approved the usage of federal emergency funds for replacing the unit ventilators and installing bipolar ionization rods in the HVAC at Badin Elementary School. The contract was with Garmon Mechanical for a total of $758,000.
Approval was also given by the board for a contract with EDDIRECTION — a data-driven teacher and administration improvement service ‚ was approved for Albemarle Middle and High School.
“Sometimes you need to get the right solution, for the right challenge,” Graves said of the decision to bring in this service. “We recognize that as a board and we’re willing to make the investment in it. It isn’t like we make this investment and we hope it works, there are going to be reviews to make sure we learn what kind of progress is made.”
Other agenda items approved by the board included the adoption of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ policy and guidelines for the destruction of records and the approval for the pursuit of Needs Based Public Schools Capital Funds grants.
The facilities committee chose four projects for which to apply for grant money: $2 million to add six additional classrooms and remove two mobile units at East Albemarle Elementary School; $3.785 million to remove six mobile units and replace them with brick and mortar classrooms at West Stanly Middle School; $2.8 million for the removal of three mobile units and the addition of eight classrooms at Endy Elementary School; and $10 million for the removal of eight mobile units, the addition of 10 classrooms, updates to the science labs and the removal of asbestos at West Stanly High School.
These projects were chosen as they had the quickest turnaround windows and have already been approved by the county commissioners. Although the committee only expects one of the projects to be approved, a second round of requests will be upcoming where more projects will be able to request funding.
“We had to work with everybody in the community and the county to get things done, and I just think we’re moving in a positive direction and things will be better for everybody because of it,” said board member Dr. Rufus Lefler on getting the grant requests processed as quickly as they did.
The Stanly County Board of Education will next meet May 3.