Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2007

District teachers to receive 4% salary increase

June 14, 2007

Teachers and administrators in the Lansing School District will receive a 4 percent salary increase in the coming school year.

The Lansing School Board approved the measures at their meeting Monday, June 11. The teachers' salary adjustment was approved with ratification of the 2007-08 negotiated agreement; the administrators' salary increase was approved separately.

For the 2006-07 academic year, the average teacher salary in the district was about $46,000. With the 4 percent increase, the new average salary of teachers will be about $48,000, Superintendent Randal Bagby said. The salary average does not take into account extra pay teachers receive for involvement in coaching or other extracurricular activities.

There are currently 132 teachers in the district with a combined salary of $6,367,328 for last year. The new total of combined salaries will be $6,656,040.

Bagby's salary will increase to $132,362 from $127,271.

Lansing High School principal Steve Dike's salary will increase to $87,745 from $84,370. Lansing Middle School principal Kerry Brungardt's salary will increase to $84,215 from $80,976. Lansing Intermediate School principal Jan Jorgensen's salary will increase to $79,407 from $76,353. Lansing Elementary School principal Tim Newton's salary will increase to $73,211 from $70,395.

Bagby said he liked to treat everyone fairly, which is why he wanted to see the 4 percent increase apply to all of the administrators and teachers.

Ron Averill, lead negotiator with the Lansing Educators Association, said he was pleased and excited about the agreement. He said the teachers and school board have fostered a positive relationship with each other, and he was glad to see the board take steps to keep improving the district.

"We are just really happy with our agreement," he said. "We feel like it's a sign of support. They believe in what we're doing and where we're going. We're just happy they made the effort to take care of us and the school."

Bagby said the negotiated agreement was like a contract between the teachers and the school board and would lay out the foundation and rules for the upcoming year.

During the meeting, board member Brian Bode commented on the fact that this year it took little time and little discussion to approve the agreement, which he said wouldn't have happened seven years ago.

Since that time, he said, a stronger bridge had been created between the teachers and the school board.

Bagby added in a later interview that the morale of the staff has improved as well as employees working together better.

The biggest change to this year's negotiated agreement was the addition of a 403(b) retirement plan. The new plan will allow the district to match up to $50 a month any amount a teacher may chose to put aside for their retirement.

Averill said he thought the new plan was a big step for the teachers. He said combined with the salary increase, the board proved that it was not only trying to take care of its teachers now but in the future as well.

In other business Monday, the board:

¢ Said goodbye to Brian Bode. He had served on the board for the last 7 years. He was given a portfolio, plaque and a distinguished service award.

In a closing speech, Bode listed some of the events he was proud to have been involved with through the school board, which included getting lights for the baseball and soccer fields, the new elementary school and high school auditorium and the hiring of superintendent Bagby.

Almost in tears he said, "Thanks, it's been a good run." And then made his final motion to adjourn the meeting.

¢ Authorized to transfer and encumber funds to balance the general and supplemental fund budgets.

¢ Approved a resolution affirming the school board's support for the Kansas Safe Routes to School Grant for Phase 2.

The Phase 1 grant of $15,000 from last year was just for planning and conducting studies to take inventory of the needs of the community. The Phase 2 grant will be worth $250,000 and will be put towards building trails, sidewalks and other safety measure suggested by the safety audit.

¢ Approved the 2007-08 district property insurance proposal. The proposal was based on the current evaluation of the individual schools and facilities. The new plan will increase premiums $13,000 with $11,000 of that coming from an increase in workman's compensation.

¢ Approved the following appointments: John Pretz, high school physics; Daniel Wessel, high school assistant principal; Harley Douglas, high school assistant football coach and high school head baseball coach; Lee Matzeder, middle school head football coach; Melissa Green, high school assistant girls basketball coach and freshman class sponsor; Chris Hoverson, middle school assistant girls basketball coach; Leslie Rooker, high school cheerleading sponsor; Wes Cackler, assistant scholar bowl; Sheila Marin, middle school math club; Dustin Myers, sophomore class sponsor; Katie Smith, sophomore class sponsor; and Rob Elkins, national honor society.

¢ Discussed the idea of send Lansing High School students to Leavenworth High School for classes such as auto shop, as an alternative education program. Bagby said the district is already doing something similar on a smaller scale, such as sending students to Kansas City for vocational technology training.

He said he would like to look into the idea of expanding those opportunities for students.

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