Salary increase underway for Jefferson County teachers

By Vallean Jackson, For La Tribune

JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County School Board held a committee and special board meeting on Tuesday, May 10 to discuss the terms of two of four new principals slated to begin this summer, approve the recommendations listed, and discuss the salary increase for teachers.

After Huddleston and Laura Nance’s financial report, Payroll Director Brandon Seigman was eager to hear the details of the teacher pay raise.

(Left to right) Donna Pike, Oscar Mann and Ronnie Dixon. (Photo by Vallean Jackson)

“Two bills have been passed regarding the salaries of active public education employees. 2022-285 salary increase which provides a 4% salary increase to public education employees starting in fiscal year 2022-23. 2022-393 adjustments to the state teacher salary matrix which indicates that in the ETF budget for 2023 it provides for the expansion of the state teacher salary matrix,” Seigman said. “The salary increase is due to take effect on October 1. If approved, it will take effect on July 1 and employees will see the increase on the first check of the new year.”

Seigman went on to say that if the schedule is approved, public education employees will earn more than the state matrix. This helps Jefferson County stay competitive and helps recruit and retain these employees. In addition to ensuring that the salary changes made are maintained and do not have to be modified three years later.

“I think it’s very important to look at the long-term aspect in terms of raising salaries because it helps us see where we are at, so thank you very much for looking at that.” , said President Carita Venable. “I’ve been on the other side of it before, and having a long-term view of that helps avoid losing those teachers.”

Gonsoulin was faced with the question of which departments had to lose funding to get these increases, and he said the funding was not taken anywhere else to be able to provide the increase as the state provided it.

“Teacher salary increases are well behind schedule,” Gonsoulin said. “One of the hardest things to hear is teachers saying they don’t get paid enough. This opportunity is vital to guarantee the sustainability of these increases. We can’t give it to them and then have to take it back. That’s why we always have to look five or more years down the road. The ability to invest in our teachers…there is not much that can top that, as well as being able to continue to provide these great teaching opportunities to our students.

Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin acknowledged the visitors by disclosing the following:

  • Michael Bissell, who will be the principal of Chalkville Elementary (CES), has a 24-month contract beginning July 1 and expiring June 30, 2024; and
  • Brandi Wilson, who will be the principal of Kermit Johnson Elementary (KJES), also has a 24-month contract beginning July 1 and expiring June 30, 2024.

In other matters, bid for JROTC facility at Pleasant Grove High School (PGHS), recommendation for out-of-state/overnight field trips, student expulsion, construction issues regarding Erwin Middle School (EMS), the event contract with Dave and Buster’s for Pinson Valley High School (PVHS), the contract with R&B; Transportation for PGHS and the rental contract with Pitney Bowes for Hueytown Middle School (HMS) have all been approved .

Before the committee meeting after the board executive meeting and Dr. Gonsoulin made his announcements regarding the outstanding annual prom for their education students to be held May 19 at the Finley Center in Hoover from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with the theme of “A Time to Remember” and their annual 2nd Mile Teachers Dinner held the evening of May 10 at the Botanical Garden, John Huddleston presented the communications report.

“If we don’t tell our story, someone else will,” Huddleston said before getting into the news categories and the percentages of each category regarding JEFCOED. The results revealed that the majority of news about JEFCOED is positive news, and one of their many goals is to continue to grow their social media presence. As mentioned by Huddleston, the increased presence on various platforms helps to increase awareness among parents, students, board, community, etc.

On other matters, Secretary Orletta Rush discussed the Resonant Education proposal, the Contractual Services Agreement with Animal Tales, LLC for Bryant Park Elementary (BPES), and the Contractual Services Agreement with SHORT (l Squirrel Literacy Initiative for Bryant Park Elementary).

The next board meeting will be Thursday, May 26 at 10 a.m.

William M. Mayer