Special Magistrate will make a Recommendation on Walton County Teacher Pay Raise

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For the past few months both Walton County teachers and District Officials have been negotiating about teacher pay raises and during Friday’s impasse meeting, both sides stated their proposals in front of a special magistrate.

"They wanted all of the teacher allocation funds, that was previously bargained and agreed to with both parties and ratified at the table,” said Leonard Dietzan, the school district attorney.

The Walton County School District already approved about $300,000 of the money for non-instructional employees.

The district is proposing the rest of the money go to the teachers, along with an extra $150,000 from the fund balance.

But teachers want an extra $150,000.

The district would have to dip into the fund balance again, which would reduce it to 2.6 percent.

"That would not be an appropriate strategy for the board,” said Dietzan.

Both sides called witnesses to discuss the proposals.

They touched on everything from comparing other school districts,

"I asked if they could send me some of the counties that included non-instructional employees as in part of their allocated plan,” stated on School District employee.

To fund balance questions.

"It states the fund balance is 4.5 percent, could you tell us why the difference,” said Sandra Butler, the teachers negotiator.

It's now up to the Special Magistrate.

Both sides will turn in their briefs by next Friday, the Special Magistrate will make a recommendation the following Monday.

If both sides agree, the recommendation passes, if one side does not agree, it goes to the School Board for vote.