County's largest employer issues pay increase

June 07, 2024

Clay County Board of Education members are continually trying to find ways to help their employees.

During a recent meeting, board members unanimously approved a five percent pay increase for certified employees and a $1.50-an-hour raise for classified employees.

The board has increased salaries by 18.5% in the last nine years. Clay’s wages have lagged surrounding school districts in certified and classified pay rates for the longest time.

It’s a problem the board has taken seriously.

“Our pay rates were way behind counties like Jackson, Leslie, and Knox,” board chairman Mark Hoskins said. “Since 2015, we’ve met and surpassed those counties overall. Our work is not done, though.”

Hoskins attributes the board giving raises to the management of Superintendent William Sexton.

“This would not be possible without Mr. Sexton’s continued hard work on cutting costs,” he said. “He’s done a remarkable job that’s enabled us to give raises and update our facilities with the many ongoing construction projects and in the future.”

Raises have been given, and the board has reduced the overall percentage of salaries in the budget.

“When I got on the board (2013), our salaries were 90% of the budget,” Hoskins said. “And we were not paying competitive salaries. Now we are at 60%. That’s amazing and a testament to this board and the management of Mr. Sexton and our financial officer, Kristi Curry.”

The board also gave cooks, teacher aids, janitors, and bus drivers $1.50 an hour raises.

“We have a healthy budget, and this enables us to do the things we are doing,” Hoskins said. “As I said, our work is far from done, as we have more exciting plans for our students shortly.”