The Houston County Board of Education has tentatively adopted a budget for next school year. In it is a pay raise for its teachers who work hard every day preparing our youngest for the future.

“I don't do what I do for the money,” James Bryan said.

He’s a third grade teacher at Quail Run Elementary in Houston County. The Board of Education will be giving him and other teachers countywide a raise.

“Houston County is already a system where people are attracted to coming to teach,” Bryan said. “I just think this is an added bonus for want to come teach in Houston County Schools.”

Asst. Superintendent of Finance and Business Operations Stephen Thublin says the raise is to help recruit and keep the best teachers for the district

“Each teacher will get a 2% increase on their state based portion of their salary, as well as their local salary supplement will be increased 2%,” Thublin said.

Starting salary is just over $34,427 for a teacher, plus an additional $3,150 in local supplement that Houston provides. Those numbers increase with years of service.

“The majority of our teachers will earn a step increase because of their years of service,” Thublin said. “They will also get an increase for that step increase. For a lot of them, it will be a 3 ½% to 4 ½% increase.”

Part of the funding for the supplement comes from a Local Options Sales Tax, or LOST. That’s different from an Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or ESPLOST. That money can on be used on capital projects like new school buildings or technology. A LOST can be used by the Board of Education for anything.

“We're one of 10 systems that actually receive an additional one penny sales tax that we use to dollar per dollar roll back our millage rate,” Thublin said.

Bryan says he’s thankful for the potential for national money in his pocket, and he knows how he will spend it.

“As a teacher, you do spend a lot of extra money on your classroom, a lot of that I make goes right back into it,” Bryan said. “Getting that extra is great.”

The pay raises still need final approval from the Houston Count Board of Education. Thublin expects that to happen in June. Classified employees are also getting a raise.