Monett school board approves new budget

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Teachers, administrators receive approximately 2.5 percent raise

The Monett school board formulated its financial strategy for the coming school year at its June meeting, including giving raises to teachers and administrators.

Retiring Superintendent Brad Hanson reported the district ended the year on June 30 in far better shape financially than expected. Revenue topped expectations by close to $500,000 and spending ran under budget by around $500,000 as well.

The board held a budget workshop on June 13 and moved to adopt the new budget on June 25. Hanson reported from preliminary reports, local assessed valuation of property will be up this year, increasing revenue to the schools. With full funding of the state’s Foundation Formula approved by the Missouri General Assembly, state funding for the coming year will be up as well.

The new budget calls for revenues of $29,094,700 against spending of $29,239,949. The $145,249 deficit will come mainly from digging into the district’s capital improvements fund. This past year, the board approved its 7 percent transfer for the year to its capital improvements fund to pay for projects done last summer.

For the new school year, board members agreed to add $500 to the base salary for certified teachers. That brings the base for a starting teacher to $37,300, the highest in the area.

In response to a request from the Community Teachers Association, the board increased pay for years of service from the bachelor’s and master’s degrees to keep teachers from seeing a salary freeze between the third and fourth years. For those increasing their education, the higher degree will translate into $50 more of a boost. The raise from bachelor of science to master’s degree going from $425 to $475. The raise to a doctorate goes from $1,950 to $2,000.

All told, Hanson said the raises represented a 2.5 percent increase in pay for teachers. A corresponding increase was given to teachers in the business and industrial scale who teach at the Scott Regional Technology Center who do not have teaching degrees but receive credit for experience in the private sector.

Classified staff, including secretaries, paraprofessionals and custodians, all received a 5-cent per hour boost in pay for the first year in all categories. They also received a 10-cent boost at year 13 and 20 cents at steps 14 and 26.

Hanson said these additions help to eliminate gaps so that staff receives a 20-cent per hour increase plus the base when they work for the district over five years. Up to year 14, staff received 20-cent increases per hour each year. All will now receive 20- to 25-cent increases, amounting to a 1 to 3 percent raise.

Several other staffers on hourly wages saw similar increases.

Salaries for the administrative staff for the coming year will be as follows: Superintendent Russ Moreland, $130,000; Assistant Superintendent Mike Evens, $106,500; Special Service Director Teena Fare, $96,500; Scott Tech Director David Miller, $97,150; David Williams, high school principal, $98,900; Stephanie Heman, assistant high school principal, $85,100; Jonathan Apostol, middle school principal, $98,500; Cherie Austin, intermediate school principal, $82,350; Jennifer Wallace, Central Park principal, $84,400; Sarah Garner, Monett Elementary principal, $86,200; Deb Wycuff, MES assistant principal, $72,500.

Extracurricular stipends underwent some minor changes. Principals Williams and Apostol, along with Athletic Director Daryl Bradley and Michael Calhoun, reviewed all the stipends and compared them to those in the New Big 8 Conference.

Hanson said the board wanted to offer pay in the top two or three of the conference and made appropriate adjustments. He noted the district had been “a little behind” in winter and spring sports. Those were adjusted as were others in activity areas.

Pay for extracurricular service is based on a percentage of the sponsor’s salary. The head coaches for soccer and volleyball received a boost from 12.75 percent of salary to 16 percent. Head boys and girls basketball coaches went from 16.75 percent of salary to 20 percent. The head wrestling coach went from 16.75 percent to 18 percent. The golf coach went from 8.75 percent to 11 percent.

On assistant coaches, the basketball rate went from 12.5 percent to 15 percent. The ninth grade basketball coach went from 10.5 percent to 12 percent. In wrestling, the assistant position went from 12.5 percent to 13.5 percent, and the ninth grade coach went from 10.5 to 10.8 percent.

Other assistants included baseball, going from 8.5 to 9 percent, and the ninth grade coach from 7 to 7.2 percent. In track, pay for assistant coaches went from 8.5 to 9 percent. In girls soccer, the assistant coach pay went from 8.5 to 9 p.m., and the ninth grade coach went from 7 to 7.2 percent.

In other personnel action, the board hired two reserve police officers to put someone with police experience to handle a firearm at every campus. Shey Snodgrass was hired to work at Monett Elementary. Snodgrass has many years of experience with the Monett Police and with the Juvenile Office. Matt Houck was also hired for the other reserve officer post.

Monett Police were testing candidates for the second school reserve officer (SRO) post. Once that post is filled, veteran SRO Officer Jay Jastal will be the senior officer of the four working in school buildings. No one, Hanson noted, has been named as a school protection officer, a title going to a district administrator or teacher authorized to carry a firearm. Board members opted for those with police experience in that role only, for the present time.

One other personnel action was taken, hiring Joseph Emerson to teach vocal music at Central Park and the intermediate school. Emerson is a recent graduate of Drury University and will be in his first teaching position.

In one other financial action, the board voted to raise lunch prices by 10 cents for the coming school year. Hanson said that since the district switched to Aramark to provide food services, sales have run a slight profit. Since the federal program overseeing school meals does not allow a profit, he hoped no raise would be needed this year.

However, Hanson reported the district had accumulated a $150,000 deficit going back 10 years before going to Aramark. Federal law requires the district to raise prices if there is a deficit, prompting the action.

“We’re getting closer,” Hanson said. “We were with Opaa for five years and we’ve been with Aramark for the past three years. There’s been a positive balance for eight years. In each of the last five or six years, we’ve reduced the deficit. We’ll get to where we need to be.”

Breakfast prices remained unchanged.

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