Archive for Monday, June 11, 2012

Basehor-Linwood schools giving teachers biggest raise in four years

The Basehor-Linwood school district's administrative offices, and the school board meeting room, are located at 2008 N. 155th St.

The Basehor-Linwood school district's administrative offices, and the school board meeting room, are located at 2008 N. 155th St.

June 11, 2012

The Basehor-Linwood school district will make use of a state funding increase to give its teachers their biggest across-the-board raise in four years.

The base of the district’s teacher salary schedule will jump by $835 after the Basehor-Linwood school board approved the district’s bargaining agreement with its teachers for 2012-13 on Monday.

Superintendent David Howard said after the board’s meeting that the district would direct all of next year’s $58-per-pupil increase in state funding toward teacher pay.

“We need to stay competitive with our surrounding districts,” Howard said.

The change will bring the starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree to $34,500 plus benefits, including about $360 toward health insurance per month. The district’s salary schedule rewards teachers with increases for experience and education.

The district constructs its annual teacher agreement using an interest-based bargaining system, which includes teacher representatives, school board members and administrators in negotiations.

Terms of the negotiations include pay and benefits but also other work-related factors. For instance, Howard said, one concession to the teachers for next year was to allow them to bring refrigerators into their classrooms, a privilege that was taken away a few years ago amid budget cuts because of electricity costs.

Basehor-Linwood did well retaining teachers for next year, Howard said, as only two of 120 are leaving to take teaching jobs elsewhere.

“I’ll take that number every time,” Howard said.

The board approved the teacher agreement by a 5-0 vote, and it later approved a 2.5 percent pay increase for administrators as well as a 20-cents-per-hour increase for classified employees, also 5-0. Two of the board’s seven members, Dayna Miller and Jeané Redmond, were absent.

Also during Monday’s school board meeting:

• The board gave final approval, 5-0, to an agreement with Opaa Food Management to be the district’s food-service provider starting in the fall, after the Kansas State Department of Education gave the agreement a nod.

• The board approved, 5-0, a new policy allowing the district to suspend without pay any teacher whose license has expired until he or she files renewal materials with the state.

• The board approved, 5-0, an updated student fee schedule for 2012-13, adding a $50 iPad insurance fee for sixth-graders and increasing lunch fees by 10 cents over the previous year, to $2.30 for kindergartners through fifth-graders and $2.40 for sixth- through 12th-graders.

• Howard said the district would need to pay $324,000 over 20 years in assessments on property taxes as part of improvement districts for the 2008 construction of Basehor Boulevard and improvements to 155th Street. The district’s new intermediate school, which opened in 2010, sits on Basehor Boulevard.

• Also by 5-0 votes, the board appointed board clerk Pam Chenoweth as the district’s school nutrition programs representative; renewed the district’s property and casualty insurance for 2012-13; and approved updates to the district’s Internet user agreement for students and staff.

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