JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville City Board Of Education voted Tuesday to approve a 4 percent increase in teachers’ pay for the upcoming school year. 

“Any time that we have an increase of funds for the teachers, an increase of salaries, it just makes us feel a little more like what we do is worth the time and effort they put into it,” said board president Jeff Gossett at the body’s monthly meeting. “It’s nice to be recognized from the state saying that are teachers really are that important.”

Along with an increase in pay will be an increase is supply and instructional materials funding for teachers of around $600 a year per teacher, according to Sarah Blount, the chief financial officer for the board. Blount said the money for the increases will come from the state level. 

Both increases were approved by the board 4-0. Board member Jennifer Sims was absent from the meeting.

Rhonda Tinker, principal of pre-K through third grade at Kitty Stone Elementary, said the raise in classroom funding and in salaries will help teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies take home more of their pay. 

“Everybody else in society is feeling the benefits of the positive economy and the teachers will too,” Tinker said. 

Russ Waits, the principal of Jacksonville High School, said the raise continues a trend of increased funding that has been happening the past few years. 

“It feels like we’re catching up with the Southeast and maybe the rest of the nation,” Waits said. “Hopefully teachers will have to turn to their own pocketbooks less and less.” 

The school board’s next meeting will be July 25 at 5 p.m. at the board’s offices at the old Kitty Stone Elementary School campus on College Street Southwest.