, Corbin, KY

Local News

January 23, 2013

School employee raises on hold

Final action of Knox Board of Education meeting concerned freeze approval

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

“It’s a slap in the face.”

That’s what Daphne Goodin, with the Kentucky Education Association, told the Knox County Board of Education members after the adjournment of a nearly four-hour long meeting Tuesday.

The final action of the meeting concerned approving a freeze on the impending 2-percent raise for all school system employees approved in December by a 3-2 vote of the board.

Prior to that agenda item, board members retired to a closed session to discuss “pending litigation and personnel.”

After a 45-minute closed session, attendees were informed “no official action was taken” during the session, and board members reconvened to vote on the measure.

Newly elected Board Chair Carla Jordan said a letter had been received recommending a feasibility study be done to see if finances could cover the raises.

With that information, board members made the vote. Newly elected Board Vice-Chair Sam Watts motioned to freeze the raise, have the study done and review feedback.

Jordan seconded that motion, and the board unanimously voted to freeze the raise.

Goodin, who has been involved with the Knox County school system for 54 years and taught for 30, said she and others heard praise for the teachers “all night” and was not happy with the vote.

She explained that the school system has the funds to cover the raises. During the December board meeting, Finance Officer Gertrude Smith explained money for the raises will come directly out of the district’s “rainy day” fund. Smith said last month the amount in the fund was estimated at about $1,074,006.

No one in the audience spoke Tuesday against the measure.

“We had no chance to speak,” Goodin said. “I consider it a slap in the face.”

Goodin stood and approached the board members as they were getting ready to leave to confront them about freezing the raise. She raised her voice over the din of the room and expressed her “disappointment” with the decision. Jordan “promised” Goodin that if the completed feasibility study came back favorable, the board would “put it back.”

Board Member Merrill Smith said he “understood her disappointment” but said the raise could cause a loss in teaching staff.

“I still consider it a slap in the face,” Goodin said again.                                                                                           

Former Board Chair Ken Crawford, who chaired the board in December when the raises were approved, said “no way that any sort of justification can be made to rescind these (raises).”

Crawford, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said he plans to make another call to the State Attorney General’s office today. He wants to know “the validity of rescinding the raise.”

He said besides the Attorney General’s office, he also spoke with the state Department of Education concerning this issue.

“I don’t believe Kentucky statutes allow (the board) to rescind a raise,” Crawford said.

He further said that Tuesday’s requested feasibility study was completed while he was on the board.

He explained the state requires a 2-percent contingency fund be set aside annually — and currently he said that fund sits at 2.4 percent.

Which he says is plenty to cover the raise — a raise which both certified and classified employees haven’t seen in seven years.

“If not now, when?” he asked.

Goodin agreed, saying this information was presented to the board in September.

“We analyzed this budget a long time ago,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Prior to the closed session, an agenda item to lift a hiring freeze was briefly addressed. Watts motioned to lift the freeze, with a second from Jordan. However, the three newest board members, Merrill Smith, Dexter Smith and Charles Merida, all voted against the measure. Merrill Smith said people would better understand the “nay” votes “later in the meeting.”

“If you’re not going to allow the raise, then you can’t lift the freeze on hiring,” Crawford said, adding he felt lifting the hiring freeze would allow Superintendent Walter Hulett “to hire people at will, probably for political reasons.”

He said retaining quality teachers will help further the school system’s goals.

“Part of investing in a better education system in this area (is) that you have to pay (for good teachers),” Crawford said, noting that during the meeting it was learned at least 25 percent of the teaching staff doesn’t have tenure. “The reason we have so many teachers without tenure is we’re losing them to other, better-paying school systems.”

Crawford also said he requested to speak to board members during Tuesday’s meeting, but was not permitted. No public input on any agenda item was heard.

“It is shameful that we will not spend the money to do this raise,” Crawford said. “(We need) to give these hardworking teachers — who we heard them bragging on all night — the (money) to get them somewhere.”

The next regular meeting of the board is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Knox County Board of Education Annex building.

Text Only
Local News
  • Cannon man indicted for rape

    By John L. Ross
    Staff Writer
    A Cannon man facing first-degree rape and other charges has now been indicted in this case.

    July 28, 2014

  • Knox grand jury indicts accused store burglar

    By John L. Ross
    Staff Writer
    A man facing several charges in connection with the burglary of Cope’s Market was indicted Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man accused of Woodbine shooting appears in court

    By John L. Ross
    Staff Writer
    A Woodbine man indicted for first-degree assault after allegedly shooting a man in the face appeared in Knox County Circuit Court Friday for a pre-trial conference.

    July 28, 2014

  • TODAY'S HEADLINES, July 28, 2014

    Cannon man indicted for rape: Charges include theft for reportedly taking the victim’s car

    Knox grand jury indicts accused store burglar

    Man accused of Woodbine shooting appears in court

    So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking

    The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title


    July 28, 2014

  • 0726 thunderbolt for web.jpg Tales of the Thunderbolt

    The soft whistle of a flute floated through the room as audience members listened in awe to tales of the Thunderbolt people.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jaynes sentenced to 20 years for murder

    A hush swept across the Knox County Circuit courtroom Friday afternoon — all that was heard was the jangle of ankle shackles hitting the bare floor as convicted murderer Angela Jaynes approached the podium for her official sentencing hearing.

    July 27, 2014

  • Five people indicted for murder

    Five people arrested in connection with the May shooting death of 29-year-old Donald Mills were all officially charged with the murder on two separate indictments Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.

    July 27, 2014

  • Man in court for stealing from Bingham Tire

    A Pineville man charged with stealing more than $125,000 in inventory from Bingham Tire in Barbourville over a two-year period appeared Friday before Judge Gregory Lay in Knox County Circuit Court.

    July 27, 2014

  • POLICE ROUNDUP: Sheriff’s office searching for wanted London man

    A London man has found himself on the Laurel County Sheriff Department’s most wanted list, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
    Detective Billy Madden is searching for Jamie Elam, 34.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0725 Honor Guard FOR WEB.jpg Hundreds attend military funeral service for Dirk Shelton

    Whenever America needed him, Staff Sergeant Dirk Thomas Shelton always answered the call.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter