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Clintonville School Board OKs pay raises

Cllintonville Middle School File Photo

Support staff pay increased

By Bert Lehman

The Clintonville School Board approved support staff base pay and hourly rates, as well as instructional staff salaries, and the daily substitute teacher pay rate for the 2024-25 school year.

The approvals came at the board’s April 22 meeting. Also, at that meeting, Superintendent Troy Kuhn provided the board with updates to other matters that impact the district’s budget.

Support staff pay

The support staff base pay and hourly rates for the 2024-25 school year that were approved were recommended by school administration.

Kuhn told the board that the majority of hourly staff would receive a 25-cent per hour increase in pay. The increases are built into the district’s budget projections.

Instructional staff salaries

Kuhn told the board that the administration is not recommending that the base pay be increased this year for salaried staff. Instead, it recommended that each of the salaried staff receive their STEP adjustments. He saidt that recommendation is in the district budget models.

The board unanimously approved the recommendation.

Substitute teacher pay

Kuhn said that each year the district normally discusses the pay rate for substitute teachers. The district currently pays substitute teachers $128 per day and $60 for half a day.

Recently, Kuhn said he surveyed area school districts as to what they pay their substitute teachers.

He said his first thought was that the district’s pay for substitute teachers was too low, but after comparing the data, the district’s rate is comparable with other area districts.

“I think we’re OK with where we are,” Kuhn told the board.

Most of the other area districts pay $120 or less per day, Kuhn said.

He added that the district did not include a pay increase for substitute teachers in its budget projections.

Insurance costs

Kuhn told the board that once the sale of the former Rexford Longfellow Elementary School property is finalized, the district’s liability insurance cost will decrease by 25% by having the property removed from the liability insurance coverage.

However, he said that is negated because the district’s liability insurance premium as a whole is scheduled to increase by 24%.

Despite that, Kuhn said with the district’s decrease in worker’s compensation insurance costs, in addition to the sale of the property, the district will “come out ahead” by $20,000 to $30,000 when compared to last year.

Jirschele Field

Kuhn said the city of Clintonville has moved some bleachers from Bucholtz Park to Jirschele Field in W.A. Olen Park because the main grandstand area still can’t be used by spectators.

He said he asked City Administrator Caz Muske to schedule meetings to determine what to do with the ballfield at W.A. Olen Park.

“I know some of you board members have brought it up, do we need to start sticking money back into our fields to get them upgraded, or are we going to continue that relationship with the city, and they use our facilities and we use theirs?” Kuhn asked.

Health reimbursement accounts

Kuhn told the board that around 14 teachers in the district are eligible to retire next year, but the district is not fully vested in its retirement account. He said he will present more information to the board at a future meeting, as the board will need to decide how to handle that.

“Do we want to put that in our budget, because if we are going to put that in our budget, we’re going to take a whole bunch of layoffs for one year and then rehire them,” Kuhn said.

Another option, Kuhn said, is the district could use funds from its undesignated fund balance to cover the retirement expenses.

“Otherwise, we’re looking at a couple of options of what we can do internally, as possibly shifting some funds around,” Kuhn said. “However, we need to make sure that, number one, it’s legal, and number two, that we have the ability to do that.”

The district does have close to $2 million dollars in a retirement fund, Kuhn said, but the funds are in smaller amounts allocated to individuals. Because the funds are allocated to individuals, the funds can’t be used to make payments to other retiring teachers.

Department heads, stipends

The board approved the discontinuation of department heads and stipends.

Kuhn told the board that the administration was recommending the discontinuation for the 2024-25 school year and beyond. He said the recommendation was to serve as a budget cut and the money could be dispersed elsewhere.

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