Webster County School Board members took a hard look at the state of finances in the county and surrounding area on Monday night, judging how Webster County Schools compare to other districts in the area.
District Finance officer Brandi Burnett broke down the numbers for Crittenden, Henderson, Hopkins and Union counties as they compare to the numbers for Webster County on tax rates, total revenue and teacher salaries.
As for property taxes, the WCS rate ranks fourth out of the five counties at 58.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Only Crittenden County was lower, at 48.6. Henderson County was third at 64.0, just behind Hopkins County at 68.2. Union County led the pack with a property tax rate of 72.3.
Of the five counties, Hopkins County saw the highest total revenue at $49 million, followed by Henderson with $45.1 million. Despite the elevated tax rate, Union County’s total revenue of $14.98 million was only slightly ahead of Webster at $13.2 million. Crittenden County was the lowest with only $7.5 million in revenue.
Those revenue amounts include revenue from property taxes, AADA and SEEK allocations.
Of the five counties, Webster placed last on average teachers’ salaries according to each county’s pay scale, but not by much.
Crittenden County has the highest pay rate for first year Rank 3 teachers, at $37,255, followed by Henderson ($37,141), Hopkins ($37,033), Webster ($36,618) and Union ($36,600).
For a Rank 1 teacher with more than 26 years in the classroom, Henderson County paid the most at $63,612. Crittenden was second on the list at $60,277, followed by Hopkins ($59,182), Union ($58,808) and Webster ($57,732).
On average, according to the salary scale, Henderson County teachers are the highest paid at an average of $51,575 per year, followed by Crittenden County ($49,799), Hopkins ($48,758), Union ($48,628) and Webster ($47,849).
Burnett pointed out that since teachers’ salaries are divided up over 24 equal pay periods throughout the year, the actual difference between what teachers in these counties would see on pay day is very minute.
“We are not bringing in the money like those other counties, but we are still paying it out,” she stated. “We are putting our money into people instead of staff.”
In other business, DPP Greg Bowles told the board that the district would be receiving $59,620 in funding for school safety. Those funds will be earmarked for three specific categories:
• School main entrance electric locks and cameras
• Classroom locks and window coverings
• Main exterior locks
Bowles also informed the board that when in-person classes resumed on Monday, an addition 81 students returned to in-person learning.
Contact Matt Hughes at email@example.com or 270-667-2069.