Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre is requesting a raise for teachers in next year’s budget after a year in which he often found himself squarely in their crosshairs.
The budget going before the school board this evening will contain a proposal to raise teacher salaries in Knox County by three percent. Currently, the average Knox County teacher earns $45,609, which places the system 38th among Tennessee’s public school districts.
“It would require some additional funding,” McIntyre tells the Knoxville News Sentinel, “but we think it’s important to really have a competitive level of compensation for our teachers.”
The request follows a year in which angry teachers showed up en masse at school board meetings to express their displeasure over issues like evaluations, the use of test scores and low morale within their ranks. Earlier this month, the Tennessee Education Association sued the school board over what it called the “unconstitutional use of Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) estimates in high-stakes bonus decisions."
The salary increases in McIntyre’s budget are part of a $433.7 million proposal, an increase of 3.3 percent over last year’s budget.
In order to balance the budget, McIntyre says some job positions within the district will have to be eliminated. However, he believes that can be accomplished by attrition and won’t involve lay-offs.
The school board will vote on the budget proposal next month and then send it off to the Knox County Commission for final approval.