Knox County Schools has recommended a preliminary $471 million general fund budget for fiscal year 2018, a $17.6 million increase over the current budget. 

The new budget invests about $14 million into teach pay and benefits, including a three percent salary increase for teachers and a $1 per hour pay raise for teaching assistants. 

The budget also sets aside $1.2 million for transportation improvements, including money for improved bus driver compensation. 

“We tried to be thoughtful as we worked to develop a responsible budget that met the educational needs of all of our students and teachers,” Superintendent Bob Thomas said in a statement. “We are committed to continuing the academic progress we’ve made and believe this budget is a reflection of the investment needed to deepen our strong foundation.”

The Board of Education will consider the proposed budget next Wednesday.