Danville school employees get 1.5 percent raise

June 29, 2004|HERB BROCK

From $29,000-a-year beginning teachers to $70,000-a-year experienced principals, certified employees in the Danville school system will be getting a 1.5 percent pay increase, effective with the beginning of the new fiscal year Thursday.

But a slightly bigger raise may well be in the offing.

The 1.5 percent pay increase, which will come entirely from local funds, was approved Monday night by the Danville Board of Education at its monthly meeting at central office. However, Danville school officials may be adjusting the pay increase upward in the near future because of a major budget announcement by Gov. Ernie Fletcher earlier in the day.

On Monday afternoon, Fletcher unveiled a contingency budget to continue the operation of state government in the ongoing absence of a state budget; the governor's plan would cover the first quarter the 2004-05 fiscal year, beginning Thursday. Under the plan, Fletcher has ordered a 2 percent salary increase for all state employees and teachers.


Under an earlier plan Fletcher had called for a 1.5 percent payhike for state government employees and teachers with all the money for the increase for teachers to come from local funds. Danville Superintendent Bob Rowland and district finance officer Patsy Clevenger had based the new salary schedule that they had prepared for the board on the earlier 1.5 percent mandate.

In the plan he revealed Monday afternoon, the governor said he was adding another $23 million to the fund that provides state money to schools and said the the additional money would "help fund" the 2 percent salary hike as well as increase the per-pupil expenditure by the state to $3,222 a year.

But the salary increase picture could change yet again in the next couple of days. Some legislators are still holding out hope that the governor and Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate and House can agree on a new state budget by the end of Wednesday, the last day of the current fiscal year and the deadline for the adoption of a new state spending plan.

Salary adjustments could be made at a later date

For the time being, however, Rowland told the board he will proceed with his plan to notify employees this week of the new salary schedule that has the 1.5 percent increase in it and then make any adjustments at a later date.

"We're going to go ahead and mail out the new schedules that go into effect Thursday with the (1.5 percent) increase in it, along with their last paychecks (of the current fiscal year," he said. "Then, we'll wait to see if the governor's new 2 percent pay increase goes into effect, and if we really will get state money to cover the additional .5 in the increase, or if there is a new state budget with yet another percentage increase in it."

When the wait is over and Rowland discovers that the payhike has been increased to 2 percent, he said he will put together a funding proposal to cover it - "hopefully with some state money in it" - and seek board approval for a revised salary scheduled at its July meeting.

"Whatever additional pay increase we may have to adopt, we will make the adjustment to our certified and classified pay schedules and make the new salaries retroactive to the first of the fiscal year," said Rowland.

Under the 2004-05 salary schedule approved Monday night, the pay increase for the district's 170 certified personnel - teachers, principals, librarians, counselors and administrators - varies slightly from slightly under 1.5 percent to around 2 percent, depending on experience and level of education. But the increase for all certified employees will average out to 1.5 percent and cost a total of $230,000.

Meanwhile, the district's 170 classified personnel - secretaries, cooks and bus drivers - also will each get a 1.5 percent pay increase. The cost of the 1.5 percent across-the-board classified payhike is $100,000, also totally from local funds. Each classified employee will get precisely a 1.5 percent increase.

The annual increases in dollars for the certified personnel will be: no experience to nine years of experience, $600; 10-19 years of experience, $700; 20 years of experience and above, $800.

For example, the annual salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree and no experience will be increased from $29,080 to $29,680.

The annual paycheck for a teacher with a master's degree and 15 years experience will grow from $41,900 to $42,600. The annual pay for a teacher with a master's degree and 30 years of experience will be increased from $48,800 to $49,600.

Salaries for the principals of the district's three elementary schools, with the pay increase, will range from $61,180 a year to $69,020 a year. The principal positions at the other two schools in the district - Bate Middle School and Danville High School - currently are vacant.

Salaries for six adminstrators will range from $62,700 to $79,360

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