Last updated: August 11. 2014 3:03PM - 1344 Views
By James Johnson jamesjohnson@civitasmedia.com

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LUMBERTON — The Board of Education on Tuesday will discuss the recently adopted state budget, which includes pay raises for teachers but also reduces by 22 percent the teacher assistant allotment for the Public Schools of Robeson County.

The meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., will be at the system’s central office at 410 Canton Road.

The state budget, signed last week by Gov. Pat McCrory, includes pay raises but also eliminates teacher longevity pay, and may include unanticipated cuts that could affect Robeson County schools.

Teacher longevity pay is an annual bonus given to teachers who have worked for more than five years for the state. According to lawmakers, the longevity pay was “rolled into” the teacher raises. Critics of the new budget, such as members of the North Carolina Association of Educators, say that this was done to create the illusion of a sizable pay increase for teachers and will mean smaller raises for veteran teachers.

Tasha Oxendine, Public Relations officer for the school system, said in an email that the new state budget could mean a loss of $1.72 million for teacher assistants based on the district’s current planning allotments. Oxendine said that the district has been told that it will receive a slight increase in its teacher allotment, which can be converted into dollars and used to offset the cuts to the teacher assistant allotment. Specific numbers may not be available until after Tuesday’s meeting.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, the school board will receive an update on the Read to Achieve program, the winner of the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West MVP Award will be recognized, and a newly received $4 million Fruit and Vegetable Grant will be discussed.

The regular school board meeting will happen immediately following a 5 p.m. Policy Committee meeting.

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