Raising teachers' salaries on agenda for Columbia School Board

Sunday, May 10, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 6:31 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 10, 2009

COLUMBIA – Interim Superintendent Jim Ritter will ask the Columbia School Board to approve a 1 percent increase in salaries for the professional staff, such as teachers, administrators, counselors, librarians and other certificated staff.

Under the proposal, the district's finance committee would have control over the salary schedules of support staff, such as secretaries, food service staff and custodians.

“For the last year, we weren’t even able to operate that (salary schedule),” Ritter said. “We weren’t able to give any increases in salary” other than for educational advancement, which means if a teacher earned a higher educational degree, the committee could raise that teacher’s salary.

The finance committee met Thursday night to discuss plans to control and raise staff salaries. Ritter will present the committee's ideas, including the salary increase, to the board on Monday evening.

The committee has been "looking at this whole thing for several months now, looking at the revenue for this coming year,” Ritter said.

Also on the school board agenda is a pitch from Linda Quinley, the district's director of business services. She plans to ask the board to “allow the district to apply for the Missouri School Boards Association Advance Funding Program” for the 2009-10 school year.

“This program is a tax anticipation note program that would make borrowing available to us in the fall,” Quinley said. She added that the district would need to borrow money only in the event that its cash balances run out before large revenues become available in January and February. These large revenues include property tax collections.

“If approved, we will be able to borrow as needed in order to meet our regular accounts payable and payroll needs,” she said.

Another issue being brought in front of the board concerns a minor change to the 2009-10 school calendar. Sally Beth Lyon, the district's chief academic officer, will ask the board to move the date of an early-release day also used for teacher workshops.

“It is a minor change to the calendar. It currently has a day in May, May 20, when students would be released two hours early for teacher collaboration,” Lyon said. “The building principal said the time would be made more useful for teachers if the early release day was Oct. 22.”

The public board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the administration building, 1818 W. Worley St.


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