School system presents budget to Madison County committee

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County School System presented their 2022 budget to the Madison County Budget Committee.

The district plans to keep this year’s budget the same as last year, but focusing more on competitive pay.

Right now the district has a 16 step salary increase program, but the goal is to increase those steps.

“What they are going to plan to do is upping that to $40,000, but take a look at redoing the steps, looking at it and saying how we can get competitive pay. The community knows that everything is so competitive now,” said Doug Stephenson, Chair of the Madison County Budget Committee.

Stephenson says they asked the district to produce a five year plan on the competitive pay changes.

And the district’s goal for a new plan is to incentivize employees to stay.

“When somebody gets to the 16th step, what happens there? Do they top out and we don’t? They never get an increase? That doesn’t seem correct. You find a teacher and you really want to keep them,” Stephenson said.

Along with competitive wages, the district also plans to provide incentives in other ways.

Both the district and the budget committee discussed having a student resource officer and metal detector in every school in the district.

“I think we are making progress on there to talk about metal detectors, more metal detectors. We are going to be looking into getting more SROs for the schools,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson says right now, the committee is planning a budget based on last year’s property tax rates. He says due to an appraisal, they will have to make adjustments later.

“We had reappraisal from the state. It sort of skews the numbers. So what we are going to do now is just do a regular budget, make cuts and then come back and make changes when we find out about this tax rate,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson says they hope to have the state’s reappraisal in the coming weeks.

The budget committee’s next meeting is June 14 at 1 p.m.

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