Jackson teachers' raise OK'd

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A beginning teacher in the Jackson School District will earn $31,000 in the coming school year, up $1,000 from the past year.

The Jackson school board unanimously approved the 2007-2008 salary schedule for teachers at its meeting Tuesday night.

Under the new salary schedule, most teachers will receive a 3.5 percent pay raise, superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson said.

"We have been trying to improve the schedule," he said. "You have to move along with supply and demand in the market," he said before the meeting.

The school district spent $11.8 million on salaries for teachers last year. For the coming school year, the district expects to spend more than $12.3 million, Anderson said.

The increase reflects both the pay raises, but also additional teaching positions, he said.

"It is kind of a moving target," he said, "but right now we are probably adding eight to 10 more teachers."

The added teachers, most of them in the elementary grades, will allow the district to keep class sizes in check even as enrollment grows, Anderson said.

With the added positions, the district expects to have about 315 teachers on the payroll for the 2007-2008 year, he said.

The schedule ranges from the beginning salary of $31,000 for a new teacher to a high of $53,400 for a teacher who has a master's degree and 24 years' experience.

Anderson told the board that teachers seemed pleased with the salary schedule.

Board member Gerald Adams said, "If they are happy with it, I'm happy with it."

Kitchen equipment

In other business, the board awarded a contract to Boelter company of St. Louis to furnish and install kitchen equipment for the new high school cafeteria. Boelter submitted the low bid of $551,503.

Boelter was one of two companies that submitted bids, school district officials said.

Anderson said costs for kitchen equipment have increased substantially because of the increased cost of stainless steel.

The kitchen equipment should be installed by next spring, Anderson said.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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