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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

   20140901MetroCastweb

School Board looking at options to ‘fix’ salary scales

The King George School Board is hoping to ‘fix’ its salary scales.

By ‘fixing,’ members appear to mean getting two percent increments between each of the steps on each of the scales.

But ‘fixing’ may not include equating the step numbers to the years of experience for individuals placed on the scales, which has been traditional in school divisions across the state.

At least not in the short term.

Fixing it gradually over a few years is one of the options under consideration. Other options would compress some of the first six or seven steps into fewer steps.

There was also a discussion of ‘capping’ the highest step on the scales at a lower number than the current step 31. There was no methodology discussed for that potential change.

No decisions were made and more hard numbers were requested to be developed and estimated by the administration, including costs for the Virginia Retirement System.

Last week, the School Board only looked at possible versions of future teacher salary scales, but members made it clear that they wanted to fix the scales for all employee groups.

They started with the teacher scale because that is the largest employee group, with changes to that scale having the largest effect on future budgets.

The School Board went over several versions of different scales. One was devised by the division administration, one by Mike Rose, and one by Ken Novell.

FIX SCALES IN JANUARY?
Chairman John Davis pushed the notion of fixing the scales beginning at mid-year, this fiscal year, beginning in January 2014.

The cost to implement any versions of the reviewed scales during the current fiscal year is unknown, though Davis said he thought it wouldn’t be that much money.

The cost of implementing a new teacher scale was estimated between less than $100,000 and up to nearly $2 million, but figures are not reliable, as they are loosely estimated.

More cost estimates and scale versions are expected to be brought forward at future meetings.

BROKEN SCALES DUE TO RECESSION
The division’s traditional seniority scales ideally provide for annual raises based purely on longevity. But the method fell apart for the King George division and most others across the state starting in about 2009.

That was due to the effects of lower state and federal revenues going to education as a result of the economic bust in 2008 and the continuing lagging economy.

Like King George, numerous divisions put a freeze on pay raises for the successive three or four years. So King George, like many divisions across the state, has ended up with a scale that no longer has steps that equate to longevity, or years of service.

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