Flagler Technical Institute Director Bob Nocella discussed the need for FTI teacher salaries to be increased Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the school board workshop.
This was the second of two workshops where this topic was discussed, with the goal that the adjustments get approved and put on the books by July 1.
There has been an increase in student enrollment this year, due to the schools ability to accept low interest loans, and FTI needs to have a competitive salary, Nocella said.
The school is proposing a total salary and benefits increase from $305,830.14 to $396,718.85, a difference of $90,888.71.
If the increase for the salaries is not granted, Nocella predicts a downfall for the school.
“I foresee a loss of moral, a loss of teachers, and the worst part is I see a loss of the people who are running the programs,” Nocella told the board.
The school has already seen the effects of teachers leaving this year and with more money coming in, Nocella said he wants to keep the teachers he already has.
Board member Trevor Tucker raised concerns over the school’s sudden jump in revenue, pointing out that if enrollment and revenue go back down, FTI would no longer have the funds to support this pay increase.
“I’m putting myself on the line here,” Nocella said in response.
But still, the board wasn’t satisfied.
“It’s kind of difficult to have a complete, full picture because I don’t know what the other side of the house is,” board member Colleen Conklin said, referring to Adult and Community Education, FTI’s other half.
Nocella and the board plan to discuss the issue further at a future date.
“I know how slow things move,” Nocella said after the workshop. “I’m just happy they didn’t say ‘no.’”
Mileage drops 21 cents
At the regularly scheduled board meeting, the board approved the change in travel reimbursement from 50 cents per mile to 29 cents per mile.
The 21-cents-per-mile savings will apply to in-county and out-of-county travel.