LR5 approves pay raise for teachers and staff

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Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 8:35 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 8:36 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The School District Five of Lexington and Richland (LR5) approved a fiscal year 2022-2023 budget plan that includes a pay raise for teachers and staff.

The new salary will go into effect on July 1 and is intended to combat teacher vacancies across the Midlands.

“I know that recruiting and retaining teachers has been a problem for many years. But it’s not a problem now, it is a crisis,” said Jan Hammond, LR5 Board Chair and active teacher in Lexington District 2 (L2).

LR5 attributes the pay raise to a reported 3.6% increase in revenue across the previous fiscal year. Now, first-year teachers can expect an annual salary of $39,853 increased to $41,600.

In addition, the district has introduced the New Educator Retention Incentive (NIRI) that awards $2,500 annually to incoming teachers for the first three years of employment.

“So all of these are ways to recruit, retain and then respect the teachers and staff of School District 5,” said Superintendent Dr. Akil E. Ross, Sr. over Zoom.

According to Superintendent Ross, every district is suffering from teacher retention and recruitment. In response, WIS reached out to Lexington District 1 (L1), L2, Richland 1 (R1) and Richland 2 (R2) for comment.

L1 approved a step increase for all employees earlier this month. The new budget includes $17 hourly pay for bus drivers and $750 bonuses for substitute teachers who work at least 60 days per semester. They reported 82 certified vacancies.

L2 teachers “will receive” a base salary increase of $2,327 annually. They currently have 39 vacancies.

R1 and R2 proposed raising teacher salaries and have 353 certified teacher vacancies across both districts.

“We have got to make teachers feel valued, pay them more when we can, avoid wasteful spending... I love what I do and I’m a better board member from being in a classroom, a public classroom, every day,” concluded Ms. Hammond.

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