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      Horry County School Board approves pay raise for all employees

      Horry County School Board employees are receiving a two percent pay increase for the next school year.

      Last week, the state senate overturned Governor Nikki Haley's veto of a two percent pay raise for school teachers on top of their annual step increases.

      The increase was to balance out an increase in premiums and retirement contributions that would be taken out of teacher's pay checks.

      The state increase was exclusively for classroom teachers and excluded all other school employees.

      Horry County School Board President Joe Defeo says the board's ruling was an issue of fairness. "If you're going to give a raise across the board, it should be across the board not just a particular part of your community," says Defeo.

      Assistant Principal John Washburn of Carolina Forest High School agreed with Defeo saying, "we tend to think strictly about the classroom teacher, but we could not function without our day-porters, our custodians, our cafeteria workers. Those are just absolutely vital to the day to day of what we do."

      The money for the raises came from the school board's reserve fund.

      Defeo says, "over the next three years, we are going to do some cuts" to return that money to the reserve fund.

      He says the reserve fund ebbs and flows and they are not in financial trouble.

      He says the future cuts will definitely not result in a loss of any current positions.

      "When we've cut as much as $29 million dollars in one year, we did not lay off one teacher so the school board has been very adamant about irregardless of what outcome we're not going to lay off teachers," he says.

      Defeo also says the budget will be balanced for the 2012-2013 school year and they will not be raising any taxes.