Boyle board approves pay raises for bus drivers

Published 8:12 pm Monday, May 25, 2020

The Boyle County Board of Education approved a $1/hour pay raise for the district’s bus drivers at a meeting Thursday.

Superintendent Mike LaFavers said he and District Finance Director David Morris recommended the pay increase after an analysis of neighboring school districts revealed that Boyle County was falling a little behind in that area.

“It’s a very competitive human resource situation, so we are recommending that to the board,” LaFavers said.

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LaFavers said he and Morris recommended no other pay raises across the district. LaFavers said the district had hoped to provide pay increases across the board, but a lot of uncertainty remains with the budget moving forward due to COVID-19.

The board unanimously approved the salary schedule presented.

Discussions about the budget played a key role in Thursday’s meeting. LaFavers presented the board with the extra service salary schedule, which includes funding for athletic coaches and extracurriculars.

He said the district is going into the upcoming school year with plans to move forward with all of those different athletic programs and extracurricular activities.

“We’re not pink slipping people,” LaFavers said. “We’re keeping these people in their positions and doing our best to honor our staff.”

However, LaFavers did note that another year that resembles the last few months could have a detrimental effect on these programs.

“I’m not saying we could do this the following year if what happened the last few months happened again,” LaFavers said. “But I do believe we can do this going into the fall, and I think most of the districts in Kentucky are going to try to do the same.”

LaFavers also told the board that Steve Karsner, previously the principal at Boyle County Middle School, will be the district’s new chief academic officer. Karsner left his position at BCMS for an administrative position as chief student services officer in March.

This move, LaFavers said, will bring the district back to having three chiefs in the central office. Chris Holderman will be the chief operations and student services officer, while Karsner will be the chief academic officer and David Morris will be the chief finance officer.

Overall, as the district is looking ahead, LaFavers said they are trying to keep the budget for the upcoming year flat.

“We’re trying to have a flat year. We’re trying to budget flat in terms of what was appropriated the previous year, we wanted to keep it inside that. We’ve done that, and some people were even able to cut a little bit,” he said. “We feel good about that. I think we’ve gone into the year taking care of our staff by maintaining those extra service salaries, maintaining the salary allocations. I feel like we’re being generous to our staff, but flat everywhere else. That’s how we’re approaching 2021.”

Thursday’s meeting was just the first look at the upcoming budget. A more detailed look at that budget will come in the next several weeks.