Lamar Co. teachers have supplement added to pay

By BETH BUNCH,

As a new school year approaches, teachers with the Lamar County School District will receive an extra $200 supplement for the upcoming academic year. The allocation, Option 2 on a recent school board agenda, was approved unanimously by the board during its June 10 meeting.

A $1,500 increase for all lead principals and $1,000 increase for principals with enrollments in excess of 800 was also included in the allocation.

Each school has a lead principal and assistant principal and/or lead teachers, according to Jennifer Hession, LCSD director of finance. The lead principal is responsible for academics as well as the entire operation of the campus. 

The $1,000 supplement increase for principals with enrollments in excess of 800 students would fall to principals at Oak Grove High School, Oak Grove Middle School and Sumrall Elementary.

The allocation was one of three options presented to the board.

Option A would have added $250 to the teacher supplement for the upcoming school year, while Option C would have added $200 to the supplement and a $1,500 increase for all lead principals.

Superintendent Tess Smith said she felt with Option B the district would be able to do the most with the funds they had.

According to Hession, local teacher supplements are based on degree and years of experience.

“They range from A certificate with 0 years experience to a quad A certificate with 26+ years experience and range from $650 to $1,100,” she said.

“The supplements are added to the teacher pay scale and to their contracts.”

The district is currently experiencing a shortfall of approximately $400,000 for its 850 teachers and assistant pay increases and benefits, which is expected to be funded during the next session of the state Legislature.

The $250,000 used to fund the supplements will mean delaying the purchase of school buses for the district.

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