Board drops tax rate by a penny

By Brian Knox | Published Sunday, August 29, 2010

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The Decatur School Board made the tax rate official Thursday, dropping the rate a penny to $1.30 per $100 valuation.

A public hearing on the tax rate and budget was held with two members of the public in attendance. Neither spoke.

The tax rate will support an expenditure budget of $38.7 million. The largest expenditure increase in the budget is in the form of recapture, money the state requires the district to pay as part of its wealth equalization school funding formula. Recapture payments increased $1.9 million in the budget to $4.4 million.

The budget also includes an increase of $175 at most steps of the teacher salary scale.

Incentive pay

An incentive plan to provide extra pay for principals whose campus is rated “exemplary” or “recognized” in the annual accountability rating was discussed but not approved after board members questioned whether the incentive shouldn’t be broadened to include all campus employees.

Superintendent Rod Townsend’s proposal was to give principals whose campus receives a rating of “exemplary” in the 2010-2011 school year a one-time payment of $4,000. Principals receiving a campus rating of “recognized” would receive $2,500. The principals must return for the 2011-2012 school year to receive the payment.

Concerns brought up by board members included keeping the incentive in the budget in future years and the ability to fund the incentive, plus extending it to all employees on the campus. Townsend said he would revisit the plan and bring it back to board members at next month’s meeting.

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