Schools

Town, Knox losing underpaid teachers?

Susan Horn, 5th District Knox school board representative, spoke to 5th District Democrats during its most recent “third Thursday” meeting.
Good news and bad news about Knox County Schools teachers came from Susan Horn, Board of Education representative from District 5 that includes Farragut schools, during a recent speech before an area political group.

“Over 80 percent of the [education] budget goes to personnel,” namely “salaries. … During this current budget we were able to get teachers a 3 percent raise,” Horn said as featured speaker during 5th District Democrats’ monthly Thursday evening meeting, Nov. 16, in Rosarita’s Mexican Cantina. “ … The goal is to raise those salaries 4 percent a year.”

However, “Our average salary is well under not only the state, but especially [compared to] the counties that surround us,” she added. “And I personally know of five people that left to go to Anderson County just this past year.

“When we talk about how our schools are underfunded, our salaries are not competitive. But currently we have a Memorandum of Understanding … that we will try to have a 4 percent salary increase this next year.”

One major threat to that goal: “The concern is we’re opening two new middle schools” in Hardin Valley and Gibbs, Horn said. “I know I would love to see a 4 percent increase.”

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