ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County School District presented a draft of its budget for the 2022-2023 school year, which projected a $7 million deficit due to a state-mandated salary increase.
Earlier this month, the Hawkins County Board of Education was presented with the first draft of the budget for the 2022-2023 school year.
The Tennessee Department of Education raised teachers’ minimum base pay from $38,000 to $40,000. This also requires the school system to raise every increment for years of experience and advanced degrees.
The new state-mandated pay scale for educators with a bachelor’s degree specifies that teachers with one to five years of experience will receive a minimum of $40,645; teachers with six to 10 years of experience will receive a minimum of $43,370; teachers with 11 to 15 years of experience will receive a minimum of $46,900.
Those with advanced degrees will also receive a scaled pay raise based on experience. Teachers with zero to five years of experience will receive a minimum of $43,605; teachers with six to 10 years of experience will receive a minimum of $47,365; teachers with 11 to 15 years of experience will receive a minimum of $51,380.
Director of Schools Matt Hixson said teachers will receive an approximately 1% to 2% raise across the board, depending on their degrees and level of experience.
Hixson said that the state-mandated increase was “pretty substantial.”
According to Hixson, the raises will cost the school system more than $1 million, but the county will receive some money from the state to cover a portion of the increase. The school system received a total of $650,000 from the state Basic Education Program (BEP) funding.
The system’s total estimated expenditures for next year are $74,840,049 and projected revenues are $67,714,148, leaving a deficit of $7,125,901.
To close the gap, in this first budget draft the system is projected to move $5,802,452 from the general purpose fund’s unassigned fund balance, $629,673 from the cafeteria fund’s unassigned fund balance, and $693,776 from the transportation fund’s unassigned fund balance.
Hixson said the system normally “underestimates its revenue and overestimates its expenditures” so the deficit might actually be lower than projected at the end of the next school year.
The board will vote on the proposed budget at its June board meeting.
In June, the budget will be presented to the Hawkins County Commission’s Budget Committee and will then be presented before the entire commission.