Ben­tonville School Board weighs raises

Teach­ers may get pay boost in fall

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NOTHWEST ARKANSAS - BRENDA BERNET

BEN­TONVILLE — Ad­min­is­tra­tors are study­ing giv­ing teach­ers more than a 1 per­cent raise dur­ing the fall se­mes­ter.

A rec­om­men­da­tion for raises will go to the School Board in Oc­to­ber, Janet Sch­wan­hausser, the dis­trict’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of fi­nance, told the School Board on Mon­day at its monthly plan­ning ses­sion.

“We’ve been ask­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion to fig­ure out how to get that done,” School Board Pres­i­dent Travis Riggs said.

In the past, the dis­trict pro­vided teach­ers raises with money the dis­trict re­ceives from the state for grow­ing en­roll­ment, Riggs said. That money has gone to­ward open­ing build­ings and hir­ing more teach­ers.

West High School opened for the 2016-17 school year, and Osage Creek Ele­men­tary School and Creek­side Mid­dle School open Mon­day.

“We’re start­ing to get ahead,” Riggs said.

Sch­wan­hausser has de­vel­oped a long-term bud­get build­ing in teacher raises, Riggs said.

The School Board last ap­proved teacher raises in the 2014-15 school year, which pro­vided a 1.27 per­cent in­crease, Sch­wan­hausser said.

A 1 per­cent raise is built into the bud­get for 2017-18 but it hasn’t been added to the salary sched­ule, Sch­wan­hausser said. Sch­wan­hausser said plans for a one-time raise for 2017-18 retroac­tive to July 1.

Teach­ers will re­ceive a lump sum pay­check and then pay­checks go­ing for­ward will in­clude the ap­proved raise.

The dis­trict re­ceived $3.3 mil­lion in state money for growth that in­ten­tion­ally wasn’t in­cluded in the 2016-17 bud­get, Sch­wan­hausser said. She wants to see if the dis­trict main­tains its growth be­fore de­cid­ing on how much of the growth money to put to­ward raises. The 2017-18 bud­get al­ready in­cludes $1.27 mil­lion for a 1 per­cent raise. A 1.5 per­cent raise would cost an ad­di­tional $635,000, while a 3.5 per­cent raise would cost $3.18 mil­lion more than al­ready bud­geted, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion Sch­wan­hausser pro­vided the board.

Salary is a con­cern for em­ploy­ees be­cause of rises in the cost-of-liv­ing, Su­per­in­ten­dent Deb­bie Jones said. Even though the dis­trict is among the state’s high­est pay­ing dis­tricts, Jones has put a pri­or­ity on main­tain­ing com­pet­i­tive pay, she said.

The dis­trict’s staff within the past year de­vel­oped a 10-year con­struc­tion plan and a five-year fi­nan­cial plan, Jones said. The five-year fi­nan­cial plan bud­gets a 1 per­cent raise for staff every other year. The raise is in ad­di­tion to the an­nual “step” in­creases built into the salary sched­ule.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.