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New salary scale will cost Lowndes County School District $1.3 million


Sarah Fowler



The Lowndes County School District Business Office released details on the salary scale the board approved last week. 


According to district business manager Lotis Johnson, the salary scale the board approved Friday will cost the district $1.3 million dollars, much of which will be used to implement a new teacher pay scale, Johnson said. That cost is $786,000. 


In a press release issued by the district, Johnson explained the extent of the salary scale and the reasoning behind it. 


"Those salary scales were composed as a result of a salary study conducted by an independent consultant," the release stated. "The consultant collected salary data from Meridian, Tupelo, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Columbus and Clinton School Districts. With the exception of Columbus Municipal School district, which was chosen because of location, all other districts were chosen because they were similar in average daily attendance and total Revenue.  


"The salary data collected from those respective districts, as well as our district, were averaged together and those averages became the target in which to formulate the new salary scales for Lowndes County School District. When the average was compared to the old salary scales, some positions were already in the range of average, above average or below average. Each position was reviewed and each scale was reformulated... to bring positions within the average range from new hire to retirement." 


In the motion to approve the salary scales for the upcoming fiscal year, the board choose not to allow any employee to receive more than a $5,000 increase in salary," Johnson said. 


She added that the board did not approve salaries for selected individuals, but for certain positions. 


"The board did not approve raises for selected individuals," she said. "The board approved new salary scales and as a result of those new salary scales, most individuals would receive raises. But some may not because their salary or wage was already comparable to that of the school districts we were compared to. The scales that were approved contained every position of the district with the exception of superintendent, two part-time positions and supplements." 


The salary scale will go into effect July 1, when the district's fiscal year begins.


Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.



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