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April 16, 2024 3:24 pm

Board of Education holds special meeting

The Wayne County Board of Education held a special meeting Nov. 30.

GOLDSBORO — At a special meeting of the Wayne County Board of Education Nov. 30, Dr. Carol H. Artis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, discussed the school improvement planning process and reminded the board of the timeline for the review and final approval process for school and district improvement plans.

Discussion followed about strategies within the plans and different strengths some schools displayed which have proven successful in areas of academics and school culture. After no further discussion, the 2022-2023 School Improvement Plans and District Improvement Plan, which have been available for board members to review throughout the month of November, were approved unanimously.

Superintendent Dr. David Lewis presented some background information on the Phase I Classified Salary Schedule Improvements as part of the 2022-2023 budget to help increase salaries and benefits for all classified employees.

Lewis reminded the board that the Phase I increases, initiated July 1, allowed classified employees to be paid $15 per hour or receive a 4 percent salary increase, whichever was greater. Because WCPS does not currently have set salary schedules for classified positions, Dr. Lewis shared the Phase II salary schedule options, which are intended to be the next step for the district to set salary schedules in order to offer and promote consistent, appropriate and competitive starting salaries and step increases, which take in account years of experience and education for different classified positions.

Lewis and Chief Finance Officer Leslie Rouse shared information about current classified salaries and then presented three options. With so much information presented and to consider, the board decided to wait until its monthly meeting on Dec. 5 before taking any action.

Board member Wade Leatham brought up the need for salary adjustments for the maintenance department. He shared that as the age of the buildings increases, so does the workload for maintenance staff, especially in areas which have vacancies. Leatham suggested taking half of the budgeted salary for this year for vacant positions and divide the funds among remaining staff as a salary adjustment.

He then made the suggestion a motion, which was seconded by board member J. Tommy Sanders III. As part of the discussion, Dr. Tim Harrell, assistant superintendent for support services, shared that there are 10 vacancies in the maintenance department. He also shared information about allotments and how funding has been spent in the area of maintenance over the past few years.

Lewis asked Leatham if the intent of the motion is to give staff a one-time retention bonus or a salary increase that will have to be accounted for in budgeting for next year. Some board members requested additional information, including what the salary schedules are for maintenance staff employed by area governmental and education organizations. After more discussion, the board agreed to table its motion and the discussion until more information could be collected.

After no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned.

— From the Wayne County Public Schools website