More money for schools

Published 9:21 pm Thursday, March 12, 2015

Extra funds budgeted for the next school year, after lawmakers finalized state funding, should be used to implement more of the recommendations in a compensation study, the school district’s superintendent says.

Deran Whitney delivered his new recommendation to School Board members Thursday after Wendy Forsman, its finance director, told them that after changes to revenues and expenses in the now $132.55 million proposed operating budget, the district would have $412,613 more than it anticipated in February.

When Whitney delivered his recommended budget last month, his preferred plan was to ask the city for an extra $3.89 million to boost teacher pay throughout the scale — part of a suggested first phase of the compensation study, which was primarily city funded.

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With the extra money, Whitney now also recommends implemented most of phase 2, which, at a total cost of $680,455, involves boosting 31 classifications found to be between 10 and 20 percent below market.

Those positions that are most below market would be implemented earlier, he said, with the rest carried over for implementation in 2016-2017.

The district would still require the requested extra funds from the city for the teacher raises, Whitney added.

Members voted to meet Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., at a venue to be announced, to approve their final spending plan to present to City Council.

In other business during their regular monthly meeting, board members also formally approved a snow make-up plan that extends the school day by 15 minutes for the remainder of the school year.

They also approved changing next Thursday and April 3 from half to full days, and June 10-12, which were early dismissal days due to middle and high school exams, to full days for elementary students only.