School, county leaders will meet Monday to try settle funding issues; teacher supplements discussed

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education and Rowan County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday to discuss adjustments to an agreement involving funds for the school system’s capital projects.

The school board held a called meeting Friday to discuss the changes commissioners made to the agreement at their meeting Monday, but according to Chairman of the Board of Education Dr. Richard Miller, “The initial document they sent us did not have all their changes.”

That left unanswered questions about the changes commissioners made to the document.

“We need our attorney to get some clarifications on those,” Miller said, adding that he hopes they can reach a resolution Monday.

The joint meeting will be held Monday at 2 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. room in the county administration building, 130 W. Innes Street in Salisbury.

In addition, the Board of Education agreed to add teacher supplements to the budget message Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody will present to commissioners in the next few months.

Tara Trexler, Rowan-Salisbury chief financial officer, said the addition is “a request to increase teacher supplements to make it competitive.”

The state dictates a base salary for teachers, but each school district adds a supplement to their teachers’ salaries, she explained.

Moody stressed that as a part of the system’s goal to cut teacher turnover, it was necessary to try to be competitive with the school systems that surround the district.

“We are at the very bottom of everyone around us,” she said, adding that it was important to try to get in the ballpark of other schools.

School systems in Kannapolis and Cabarrus County have put additional supplements to their teachers’ wages this school year.

“We also have to realize this is a dream list, and that we’re not going to get everything we want,” said board member Chuck Hughes, in response to the additional request for funds that will have to go before county commissioners.

“This is what we just need to do the job. Again, it’s up to them to decide where we make those cuts,” Moody said.

She explained that the budget message spells out the school system’s plans to redefine and stretch current roles.

“This isn’t a dream or a wish list,” she said.

If it were, she added, “I would just be adding jobs.”

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