Franklin Special School District wrapped its budget conversations with a focus on teachers, as the board looked to figure in how to increase incentives for good attendance.

The Tuesday meeting marked the third and final 2017-18 budget review session, a process that has detailed a $48.1 million budget that includes step increases for teachers, new positions and new textbooks.

Altogether, the district’s operating budget has grown by a little more than $2 million, and the evening’s meeting also detailed the district’s capital project funds spending.

The district plans to spend about $1.2 million next year, a slight decrease from last year’s $1.3 million expenditure.

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Teacher incentives

The board is looking to increase substitute salaries this year, but the hope from board members is they can keep teachers in the classroom unless absolutely necessary.

While not specifically outlined in the budget, the board is looking toward a boost in incentive pay teachers can cash out from accumulated sick days.

FSSD Education Association President Rochelle Wright said on the table is an increase of $30 to $50 a day for accumulated sick days. The proposal would cap the number of days teachers can accumulate at 200.

Wright called it a no-brainer considering sub pay will be raised to about $100. 

“We are raising sub pay, and when you compare the two this is a no-brainer,” Wright said. “We will pay a teacher $50 to come to work instead of a substitute.”

Board members said they’d like to see how the increase would play out on the budget before they vote on an increase.

“We are always looking to retain and attract the absolute best,” said board member Allena Bell. “I think this would be very attractive.”

Capital funds

Extracurricular equipment, two bus replacements and new school technology dot the list of the district’s capital wish list for next year.

The band, chorus and athletic equipment money is for three schools to the tune of $30,000. The money will be spent on equipment at Poplar Grove, as well as Freedom Intermediate and Middle.

The buses are part of the district’s annual maintenance of its fleet, FSSD Financial Director John McAdams said. 

And $350,000 is proposed to be spent on replacing teacher laptops and the purchase of additional Chromebooks at schools.

Reach Jason Gonzales at jagonzales@tennessean.com and on Twitter @ByJasonGonzales.

 

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