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Raise, balance notables at L-R Board of Ed meeting

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A starting pay increase was among the subjects of interest from the most recent Logan-Rogersville Board of Education meeting held June 30. 

The move was made to add $1,200 to base pay for teachers with a bachelor’s degree, as well as an additional $250 to the master’s base.

It brings the starting base pay for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree to $36,500. 

Increasing employee pay was one of a number of intended benefits of the 2019 vote on both a no tax increase bond issue and operating tax levy increase, each of which was approved by residents. 

Also of note, L-R Superintendent Shawn Randles revealed that that district ended the 2020-21 year with a 23.2% fund balance, which then became the starting fund balance as of July 1 for the following year.  

Randles said that talking with other superintendents, the majority of schools are in the 23-28% range after a year in which a number of districts didn’t spend as much money due to the pandemic.

Board President Julie Gipson and Vice President Larry Zahn both noted how 18% is the “floor” and that while that number would be acceptable from time to time, the intention is not to exist on a continuous basis around that number.

It was also pointed out by Randles that even in years where a deficit spending budget was presented, the district ended up in the black by the end of the year. “We always build our estimates a little higher than we think and our revenues lower,” he said.

The district, in the end, came within $250,000 of its projected $34 million budget.

Proceedings wrapped up with some smaller items like the purchase approval of several new school buses, surplus property and a server infrastructure renewal by Asst. Superintendent Jason O’Neal in his last meeting. O’Neal is taking a position with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“I just want to publicly thank Mr. O’Neal for his years of service,” said Dr. Randles. “I don’t need to say how high quality of an individual he is. He epitomizes the ‘L-R way,’ if you want to say that. We’re going to miss him. He’s still our neighbor and he can just be a disgruntled taxpayer now [laughs]. But he’s still going to be connected to public schools and that’s great. We’re excited for him and we wish him well.”

Added O’Neal, “It’s been a huge blessing to come here the last seven years, and really 25 years [in education total]. I’ve gotten to do things in my life no one in my family’s ever done, and I probably never dreamed of. It’s a good way to end it here and go full-circle where my heart is with coaching and kids. I’m a blessed man.”

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