THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Education: School board won't share in district pay raises
By Charles Swenson
The savings aren’t much, but it’s the principle that matters, according to School Board Chairman Jim Dumm.
A unanimous vote by the board this week excluded their pay from district-wide raises that go into effect next week. That will save the district $947.39.
The board approved a $69.5 million operating budget in June without a pay raise for its 1,400 employees because it was unsure of state funding. Once the district found it would receive about $900,000 more from the state this year, the board agreed to raise pay by an average of 2 percent, with the increase to take effect in October.
The increase is estimated to cost $750,000 to $800,000. Staff were still at work on determining the exact cost this week, said Lisa Johnson, the district finance director.
Based on average pay, the raise will be worth about $800 to the district’s teachers.
Dumm said he thought school board salaries weren’t affected by the pay raise. “I was under the impression that we had a policy in place that the board salaries would not automatically increase,” he said.
But Johnson found that wasn’t the case.
As chairman, Dumm gets $9,407 a year. The other eight board members get $6,719.
“Any time the board approves an increase for itself, it ought to be done out in the open,” Dumm said.
At a meeting this week, he asked the board for a motion to freeze their pay. “Not that I don’t think the board deserves a raise,” he added.
He got the motion and it passed without comment.
Superintendent Randy Dozier said staff would draft a policy that requires school board pay to be voted on separately from district employees in the future.