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California teachers to get raises

California teachers to get raises

March 27th, 2019 by Liz Morales in Local News

Certified California teachers will see salary increases based on their years of service and education level.

The Moniteau County R-1 Board of Education approved pay increases for teachers, as well as non-certified employees, during its March 20 meeting.

Teachers will see a $500 increase to the base salary schedule, raising it to $35,000. An extra $100 will be added for each year of service for those with a master's degree, plus 32 college graduate hours or a specialist's degree.

"We looked at our current salary schedule and its competitiveness to conference schools, and what those proposed changes would make," Superintendent Dwight Sanders said. "We're below the average in 14 out of the 18 categories in our conference. But with the proposed changes, we'll only be below average on one category."

For non-certified staff, such as administrators, maintenance, paraprofessionals, secretaries, cooks, nurses and custodians, the board approved a 5 percent salary increase.

By 2023, Sanders said, Missouri's minimum wage will be $12 per hour.

"If we have four years to get our salaries up to $12 per hour, that means the cooks and custodians will be the only ones who won't be there," Sanders told the board. "It might be good to consider a 5 percent raise this year. Then we can figure out over the next three years if we want to do a 5 percent increase for any of those years."

Two years ago, the board approved a 10 percent increase for all non-certified staff. But at this time, the wages are "considerably behind" the rest of the pack, Sanders said.

"Right now, the cooks are at $10.31 per hour," he said. "With a 3 percent raise, that will get them to $10.62 an hour. But with a 5 percent raise, that will get them to $10.83. We're still not talking about a good salary here. But in 2015, they were making $9.52. So we've made significant strides and have much more marketable positions than what it used to be."

Sanders said a 3 percent raise for the non-certified staff would cost $335,000, while a 5 percent increase would cost $371,000.

The board approved the 5 percent raise, citing efforts to retain quality employees and to attract a better quality of staff in the future.

In other business, the board heard the results of a needs assessment conducted by the district's counselors.

The Comprehensive Counseling Program, which is conducted every three years, was done in October.

Surveys were sent to students, their parents and teachers from grades 3-12, asking which categories would be most important to them and to rank those choices from one, the most important, to five, the least important, said Kim Wilkins, high school counselor.

A survey through Google services was sent to middle and high school students, while elementary students worked individually with counselor Christianne Goans and Tawnya Clause.

In 2015, high school students stated they wanted more planning skills for career achievement, Wilkins said. In 2018, students ranked those skills as less concerning. She attributed the improvement to work she and fellow counselor Whitney Toosley did for Career Day last fall where 50-60 different individuals from all different fields spoke on a smaller scale to high school students about their respective careers.

Wilkins said the 2018 survey found high school students wanted to focus more on grades and assistance with subjects, which Wilkins said would be addressed as a whole faculty.

In the 2018 survey, middle school parents said they wanted to learn how to keep their students safe and healthy. Students, in turn, wanted to learn more about skills that would teach them to be more successful in school, know themselves and individuals in diverse groups and to keep themselves safe and healthy.

To meet those goals, the middle school has brought in representatives from Burrell Behavioral Health as well as other programs to speak about suicide prevention, substance abuse and communication skills with an emphasis on how to say no.

In the 2018 survey, elementary school students and teachers said they wanted to have more focus on learning how to interact with others, respect differences, and to increase lessons on personal and social skills that touch on respecting everyone.

In other business, the board:

  • Scheduled summer school to be held May 28 through June 21. Normally, students have a week between regular sessions and summer school, but with the six snow days this year, the dates were bumped up.
  • Approved the bus ridership list to be 683 riders on 11 routes. On average, 62 students may ride on the buses, all of which have a capacity of 71 passengers. However, not all buses are at nearly full capacity on each run. Sanders said sometimes a student may only ride the bus one time per week.