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Gainesville schools will not consider salary increase
Superintendent cites higher supplements, sustainability
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While Hall County teachers may see a 1 percent salary increase next fiscal year, Gainesville City Schools’ teachers and staff will not.

The city school board held budget hearings Tuesday, at which time Superintendent Wanda Creel addressed the “elephant in the room.”

“We know that, looking at the paper (Tuesday), there is a salary increase proposed for Hall County,” Creel said. “One of the things that we also know is, when we look at our supplements and compare them with other districts in our area, our local supplement is higher than other districts.”

Creel said the Gainesville City School district wishes to maintain a competitive edge and provide quality teachers in the classroom, while thinking sustainably.

The district is also waiting on information from Gov. Nathan Deal’s recently formed Education Reform Commission, which is tasked with developing a funding formula.

“We don’t have a recommendation for what that funding formula will look like yet,” Creel said. “It’s not having that piece of information, although we are grateful our local revenues and state portion we receive allow us to create a balanced budget without having to go into our fund balance.”

The board will consider looking at the possibility of a salary increase in September, when it looks at its millage rate again, she said.

This year’s budgeting process included detailed analysis at the school level, a step which school officials say will provide each school with more opportunity to serve its students’ needs.

“This is the first budget since 2007 we’ve brought forward that did not have to depend on a fund balance in order to make it a balanced budget,” Creel said. “There was an awful lot of effort that went into creating that.”