Jackson School Board approves slight salary increase, budget

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Teachers in the Jackson School District will receive a slight salary increase as district officials work to balance cuts in state funds to other areas of the budget.

The school board met Tuesday and approved the district's $41.3 million budget and salaries for the upcoming fiscal year.

Teachers will receive a 1 percent salary increase for vertical movement on the salary schedule. Teachers who completed graduate credit and will receive a stipend capped at $500 in lieu of horizontal movement. Overall, teacher salaries will increase by 1.2 percent, said superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson.

"I'm proud our district can because I know many can't" offer raises, said board member Bruce Thomas.

The district lost 10 teaching positions, mostly through attrition. One contract position, Anderson said, was not renewed.

School districts across Missouri have taken hits in state funding throughout the year and as recently as last week.

Districts are preparing for a 4 percent cut in what they were set to receive in foundation formula funds, the biggest source of state aid. For Jackson, that equals a $560,000 reduction, said Wade Bartels, the district's chief financial officer. The state phases in increases to the formula each year. Jackson is slated to receive $13.5 million, which includes the 4 percent cut.

One of the other big reductions came in transportation, which sustained multiple cuts. Gov. Jay Nixon last week reduced school transportation by $70 million statewide as part of $280 million in cuts to balance the state budget.

Jackson budgeted $350,000 in state transportation revenue, less than half the amount it has budgeted in past years. As in most districts, the cut will be spread throughout the district.

"We're doing what we can, but it's not going to absorb that sum of money by any means," Anderson said.

Jackson buses students daily throughout the 285-square-mile district. Anderson said the district is working to find transportation efficiencies, including shuttles between schools. Combining busing for sports is also a possibility, he said.

The Parents as Teachers program was also reduced statewide. Jackson budgeted $54,000 in state money for the program. Last year the district budgeted $135,000, which was not fully received because of withholdings. The program will be reduced from five and a half parent educators to three, said Dr. Beth Emmendorfer, associate superintendent.

She said the district is waiting for direction for the state to determine how the program will change for the upcoming year.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

614 E. Adams St., Jackson MO

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