Walker Co. approves school budget
More than $92 million will go into Walker County's school budget this year. It's nearly a three percent increase over last year.
The majority of the money is going towards the school district's employees.
Teachers and staff make up about 89 percent of Walker County's school budget. Superintendent Damon Raines said it's because of some changes they've made to teacher pensions and employee benefits.
For the past year, Walker County has paid teachers nearly 17 percent in pension funds, but the new budget calls for a four percent hike.
It's just one reason behind the increase in the district's budget totaling $92.4 million.
Another factor was employee benefits. In the past, teachers were the only ones able to receive company insurance. Now, all employees will be eligible. This means the district will pay $945 dollars per month for each employee.
When you look closer at the budget, it looks like it was cut back. But Superintendent Raines says that's not the case.
Three year's ago, the district invested about $600,000 into a K-5 reading program. Because it is a six-year program, Raines says that money wasn't included in this year's budget.
State funding was a big factor in this year's budget. Superintendent Raines says the district typically saves four to six percent of the budget each year.