Columbia Public Schools finance committee to discuss teacher pay increases

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | 4:31 p.m. CST; updated 6:36 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 9, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Public Schools Finance Committee will discuss whether to let teachers advance on the pay scale at its meeting Wednesday evening. The outcome of that discussion will be presented to the School Board on Monday, Assistant Superintendent Mary Laffey said.

Laffey said no decisions will be made Wednesday, but she said she thinks the committee will recommend that the board let the teachers' salaries increase.

"The board has to make the final recommendation for the budget, but all along we’ve been building a budget that was predicated on the operation of salary schedules," Laffey said. "But the board will have to finalize that recommendation to go forward in order to issue contracts."

The board voted last month to accept the budget guidelines that let teachers move up the pay scale, but the guidelines are not set in stone.

"When they accepted the board parameters, they were committing that the management of our time and energy could be directed to those parameters," Laffey said.

Laffey said that though the board does not accept every recommendation brought to it, the plan all along has been to include the salary increases in its budget for next year.

"I still believe that given the economic news that we have at this point in time, we are moving forward with operation of our schedules," Laffey said.

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