Hoover City Schools to enact 4-percent pay raise early

HOOVER – The Alabama Legislature instituted a 4-percent pay raise for teachers in the state, and those employed by Hoover City Schools will see bigger paychecks sooner rather than later.

The HCS Board of Education at its meeting on Thursday, July 11, approved Superintendent Kathy Murphy’s proposal for the pay raise to take effect with the start of employees’ contract.

So, 12-month employees will see the raise on their July paycheck, while nine-month employees will see the raise on their September paycheck.

The school system could have waited until the beginning of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1 to enact the pay raise.

Murphy noted that several neighboring school systems—including Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Trussville and Pelham—also chose to enact the raise before Oct. 1.

“We always want to be competitive with our friends, but most importantly I want to acknowledge our employees and the increasing challenges they have daily.”

Board President Craig Kelley said Murphy pushed for the early pay raises, and that she declined to accept the raise to her own salary, though her contract would have allowed it.

“This is not the Board asking for this; this is Dr. Murphy,” Kelley said. “We appreciate what the employees do. We could not do this without you.”

The Board also approved the salary schedule and supplement schedule for the 2019-20 school year that included the pay raise.

Murphy also introduced a new substitute salary schedule that could be voted on at an upcoming Board meeting.

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved an amendment to the Code of Student Conduct that adds earbuds and headphones to a list of banned electronic devices.
  • Heard that the next step in the possible approval of a 2.4-mill increase in Hoover property tax to fund the school system is for a date to be set for a referendum. The increase represents 24 additional cents in taxes to be paid on each $100 of assessed value. So, property valued at $200,000 would require an additional property tax of $480 each year. The increase would generate an extra $3.6 million annually for Hoover City Schools. Possible uses for the funds include an early learning center and/or performing arts center, Murphy said.
  • Heard that a public ribbon cutting for the Riverchase Career Connection Center has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Aug. 1. Student registration will also be held that day. The center expects an enrollment of 749 students, almost double the initial goal of 400 students for the center’s opening.
  • Accepted a bid from ESS of $31.95 per student to conduct student drug testing. The program is funded by a $5 fee on the price students pay for parking tags. Last year, 924 students were randomly tested at Hoover High School and Spain Park High School combined.

A special called Board meeting to consider last-minute hires prior to the start of the school year will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at RC3; and the next regular Board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13.