Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2006

Board OKs 9 percent more for teachers

June 1, 2006

A modified work agreement means good news for teachers in the Basehor-Linwood school district.

On Tuesday, Basehor-Linwood school board members voted, 5-0, to approve a new teachers' work agreement for next year. That new agreement adds $438,967 to this year's agreement.

"What everybody wants to know is what percentage is that," said Don Swartz, executive director of business and facilities for the district. "It is a 9.17 percent increase, but not everybody gets a 9 percent raise."

Salary increases are determined by a "step and column" system. All teachers will receive a $2,000 base salary increase.

But their salary also is affected by the kind of college degree and the number of graduate hours they earned, the number of years they have worked for the district and if they coach or sponsor an activity.

The new work agreement also increased a stipend for teachers who have "bottomed out" -- those who no longer can receive a pay increase based on the step and column system. These teachers will receive their salary based on what step and column they are on, plus another 1.5 percent of their total salary. For example, a teacher who has been with the district for nine years and has a bachelor's degree will be on step nine, column one. After their ninth year with the district, they can no longer receive a pay raise and will remain on step nine, column one the next year and years after. But they can receive the stipend.

The stipend previously was 1.2 percent of a teacher's salary.

Other pay increases approved in the new work agreement will go to coaches and sponsors. A coach or sponsor receives a percentage of pay, depending on the sport or activity. The number of years the teacher has been coaching a particular sport or activity determines their pay for extra duties. For example, the amount high school head football and basketball coaches will receive will increase under the new agreement from 12 percent to 14 percent.

And the high school dance team coach -- who now is at 5 percent -- will receive 6 percent. The middle school athletic director's extra duty pay will increase from 8 percent to 12 percent.

While teachers' salaries are increasing in the district, Swartz said, the new base salary -- $29,565 --remains the lowest of surrounding competing districts, including Kansas City, Kan., Piper, Olathe and Shawnee Mission. The very beginning base pay for all districts except Basehor, Tonganoxie and Lawrence is $30,000. The highest is Shawnee Mission at $33,684. Some districts have not ratified their 2006-07 agreement so these numbers may also increase soon.

"By putting $2,000 on our base we're still no where near where we need to be," Swartz said. "But we've closed the gap a little bit."

The 2006-07 budget was on the agenda for discussion, but was cut short because senior bookkeeper Pam Chenoweth could not attend the meeting. However, Swartz pointed out that the state's goal is to have 65 percent of the budget go toward instruction.

"As we classify it right now, we're at 48 percent," Swartz said.

The school board will continue to determine which items are considered part of instruction and try to reach the 65 percent goal in the coming weeks.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

  • Approved, 5-0, to help the special education cooperative purchase a new facility.
  • Approved, 5-0, to increase administrator salaries.
  • Met in executive session for matters relating to employer-employee negotiations and personnel matters for non-elected personnel.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.