At a special called meeting in Loxley May 31, the Baldwin County Board of Education unanimously approved a 5 percent raise for Baldwin County Schools employees across the board - a 2.5 percent raise passed by the Alabama State Legislature earlier this year and a 2.5 percent raise from local funds.
“We’re excited to be able to do this for our teachers and our school employees,” BCBE President Cecil Christenberry said. “This is something we’ve been discussing for a while, so to be able to do an additional 2.5 percent raise above the 2.5 percent the state has already approved is really a blessing.”
During the April 17 Baldwin County Board of Education work session, Superintendent Eddie Tyler said the potential system-wide raise was something he and CSFO John Wilson had been in the works for a while.
“We discussed what we could do with some of the funds we were seeing, and we both in unison said what about an employee raise,” Tyler said.
The cost of the raises amounts to almost $4.5 million.
With the change, Wilson said Baldwin County’s salary schedule would be approximately 5.5 percent larger than the state salary schedule, which could help Baldwin County schools attract more teachers in critically needed positions - especially in math and science.
“If we are able to do this, we won’t have math and science shortages,” board member JaNay Dawson said at the April 14 meeting. “The quality people will want to be here. Who doesn’t want to live in Baldwin County and make more money than they would somewhere else?”
The raise is the first Baldwin County teachers have seen in nearly for years, when the state did a 2 percent raise and Baldwin County was able to do a 1 percent raise.
The 5 percent change puts Baldwin County among the highest ranked teacher salaries in the state, above top-tier school systems like Mountain Brook, Madison and Hoover.
“I’m excited that we’re able to do this,” board member David Tarwater said. “It’s recognition of the hard work that our teachers have been doing and that our teachers have higher class levels than they did years ago.”
Wilson told the board that he had evaluated the recurring cost and felt the system’s finances could cover the potential cost and still be able to maintain a two month reserve operating balance for the system.
“This is a wonderful thing that we’re trying to do to help our teachers and staff across our county,” Tyler said. “We always want to be sure that our top priority is investing in our employees to help continue to make Baldwin County one of the best school systems in this state.”