Archived Story

County school employees address board over supplements

Published 6:13pm Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Support staff employees from several county schools addressed the Tallapoosa County Board of Education Monday and requested that the board reinstate some or all supplemental income that was cut earlier this year.

The employees received the supplements, known as “support degree supplements,” through a program that awarded additional income to support staff that furthered their education.

“We feel these efforts should be rewarded not reprimanded,” said Jolene Duck, bookkeeper and secretary of Dadeville Elementary School, who received supplemental income after she received an additional degree in 2007.

Duck was one of the two employees who spoke on behalf of the support staff who were affected by the cuts, eight of whom attended the meeting representing Councill Middle School, Reeltown School, Horseshoe Bend School and DES.

The employees questioned the fairness of having all of their supplemental income cut, when other school employees who receive supplements, including coaches, did not see any cuts to their supplements. Several support staff employee said they would like to see everyone who receives supplemental income to have their supplement reduced by the same percentage, rather than having the support staff absorb all of the cuts.

Board member Martin Johnson, who acted as board chair in Randy Anderson’s absence, said the board had to make tough financial cuts this year because of the economy.

“We’ve had to make a lot of hard decisions this past year – decisions we don’t like at all,” he said.

Board member Karen White said the board will discuss the issue again, but it has to follow proper procedure.

“We don’t change the rules or change the policies,” she said. “We vote. We will discuss it again.”

Assistant Superintendent John Paul Wilcox said the board voted at the beginning of the year to not allow any future support degree supplement. At the end of the school year, the board voted to discontinue the support degree supplements altogether.

Wilcox said about 25 employees received the supplements.