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Published: Thursday, 3/27/2014

B.G. school board OKs raises for teachers


BOWLING GREEN — A three-year contract approved Wednesday by the Bowling Green City Schools Board of Education will give teachers a raise on the heels of a failed levy request last year.

The board unanimously approved the contract, which covers 198 employees from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2017.

Teachers will receive a 2.25 percent increase for each of the three years, estimated to cost the district $250,000 in the contract’s first year. Teachers will not receive seniority-based “step” increases.

Officials said a bleak budget outlook, which prompted the district in May, 2013, to ask voters for a 6.75-mill continuing levy, has brightened since voters rejected that funding request. The district froze employee pay for the current year, received a roughly $500,000 increase in state funding for the current school year, and expects another increase next year.

Casino taxes are forecast to bring in about $150,000 a year, and the district also received a one-time $70,000 Bureau of Workers’ Compensation rebate, said Treasurer Rhonda Melchi. Income-tax collections also have rebounded.

Combined with cost-cutting measures, those revenue sources put the district in a position to approve a contract that includes raises, board President Steve Cernkovich said.

The district does not plan to ask voters for a new tax in the near future, he said, but at some point, it will consider asking for renewals of two levies that expire at the end of 2015.

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