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Hancock School Board discusses custodial pay

School Board discusses custodial pay

A light agenda greeted members of the Hancock County Board of Education when it met in session on Thursday, July 22 for its regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting took place at the Central Offices at 5:30 p.m.

Hancock County High School Principal Ginger Estes approached the school board about increasing custodial pay. She said the high school is trying to retain two of its current custodians, and is trying to fill the remaining two openings. She said low pay complicates the process.
“We have interviewed and offered and have been told the pay just isn’t…that they just can’t make it work,” Estes said.

Estes said the school’s custodial staff cleans the school building each day, which contains almost 95,000 square feet counting the gym, cleans the athletic building and also cleans after events at the school. All for a starting pay of $10.30 per hour.
“It is so hard to find custodians right now,” Hancock County Board of Education Superintendent Robby Asberry said. “At $10.30 you are not going to be able to find anybody.”

Board member Donna Quattrocchi queried district staff on the number of custodians in the district, and learned the district employed 16 custodians.
“What we do for one (school) we have to do for all,” Quattrocchi said.

Board members and district staff then discussed several different pay scenarios, and how much money raising the pay cost the district each year. The staff mentioned several different pay schemes that cost the district between $80,000 and $88,000 each year. Board members also discussed several different funding mechanisms for the pay increase.

“Is this something you want to take up tonight, or do you want to wait?” Superintendent Asberry asked.
Board member Raphael Wheatley said he thought the board needed to table the discussion until a later date to allow the board more time to examine the issue in greater detail. Board chair Allen Kennedy agreed.
“I wanted some input from the folks that have done the research on this so we can talk about it,” he said.
After a few more minutes of discussion, the board agreed to table the issue until a later date.

Agricultural greenhouse
Earlier this year the board of education approved letting bids for an agricultural greenhouse for the high school agricultural department. The bids came in this month, and the price shocked board members. Adding in engineering and other costs, the bid totaled nearly $350,000. After a short discussion, the board rejected the bids. The board agreed to revisit the issue in the spring in hopes of receiving lower bids.

Treasurer’s Report
Beginning Balance $5,616,742;
Receipts $1,505,429;
Expenses $2,561,425;
Ending balance $4,500,241.

Approved an agreement with the Daviess County Board of Education to allow two Hancock County students to continue attending the Owensboro Innovation Academy.

By Ralph Dickerson

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