June 6, 2002

Tight Budget Year Shrinks Teacher Pay Hike To 2.56%

Tough financial times in the education field did not prevent the Scotland County R-I faculty from receiving a pay raise for the 2002-2003 school year, but it did limit the salary increase.

The SCR-I Board of Education voted 7-0 to offer a 2.56 percent raise to each base on the salary schedule. The move also will allow all educators to advance a step on their salary schedule if they are eligible for such a move.

"With the fiscal crisis faced by the state of Missouri coupled with the district's declining enrollment the Board offered the compensation package with a 2.56 percent raise, which is quite a bit lower than the pay raise level in past years," said Superintendent LeRoy Huff.

The increase brings the SCR-I base teacher salary to $24,000. The raise was well below the 4.9 percent increase approved last year.

Representatives from the school's instructional aides met with the board's salary committee and made several suggestions to the group. The committee indicated to the full board the aides main request was for a separate salary schedule for aides with college hours.

The board indicated since this was the most critical issue to the aides, an Instructional Aide II salary schedule was established. The new structure provides a 10 percent salary increase above the existing aide salary, for aides who possess a substitute teaching degree (requires a minimum of 60 hours of college credit).

The board finalized one additional salary issue, establishing the high school principal salary for 2002-2003 at $55,000.

In addition to the pay issues the board of education agreed to implement more than $45,000 in cost cuts for the 2002-2003 school year.

"These reductions have been necessitated as the results of fiscal restraints imposed on schools due to the state of Missouri's budgeting shortfalls," said Huff.

The board agreed to discontinue the in-school suspension program, cutting a full-time paid position. Other cuts included the freshman boys and girls basketball programs and two assistant football coaching positions. The district also will have a reduction in elementary teacher aides due to a retirement.

The move also eliminated the one-month extended contracts for varsity girls and boys basketball and varsity boys football coaching contracts. The additional month had been paid to the coaches for providing summer camps and additional services for the student athletes.

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