R-3 TEACHERS GET 6% RAISE
by Alan McArthur
The Platte County R-3 School Board has voted to authorize increases in teacher salaries.
The board approved the increases to salaries as well as an increase for substitute teachers and an increase of one workday in teacher contracts.
The measure was approved by a unanimous vote at a board meeting on Thursday, without much discussion on the topic.
The increases include an additional $2000 to the base teacher salary, which makes the starting salary $34,000. It's an increase of about 6.3%.
The district will pay the health insurance premium for all district employees on the basic health plan. There are now higher increases in the pay scale for experienced teachers.
New teachers will receive a $500 stipend for training days as well as a $500 advance to cover the time before they receive the first check for teaching.
The teacher contract is extended from 181 to 182 days for the 2007-2008 school year. Substitute teacher pay will increase from $85 to $90 per day.
“We had a good year with new construction and increases,” said Dr. Mark Harpst, Platte County superintendent.
“We always try to give as much as possible to teachers. We want to reward them and also remain competitive with other districts. This is the largest increase I’m aware of for teachers,” he added.
The increases put Platte County in either first or second compared to Park Hill, Smithville, North Kansas City, and Liberty.
In the area of base pay, Platte County is second behind North Kansas City, which has a base pay of $36,000 for 185 days. Platte County’s base pay is $34,000 for 182 days.
For teachers with a master's degree or 10 years experience, Platte County is ranked first at $48,742. Park Hill is second with a salary of $48,646.
Platte County is now second behind Liberty for salaries of teachers with a master's and 30 to 32 extra hours or with 20 years experience. Liberty pays $64,400 and Platte County is at $60,314.
“This will have a significant budget impact,” said Harpst. “With the new positions, salaries, benefits, retirement, and Medicare, there are a lot of related expenses.”
According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the average daily attendance for Platte County in 2006 was 2,589. Comparatively Liberty had 8,440, North Kansas City had 16,095, Smithville had 1,982, and Park Hill had 9,128.
The average expenditure per daily attendance for Platte County was $7,335.26, which ranks them fourth. The highest expenditure was Liberty with $8,976.60 in 2006.
The school board also considered these items:
•The board heard an update on the building progress. Manning Construction will start the dirt work at Barry School. They also poured a slab of concrete at Siegrist Elementary and expect 7 to 10 days to build up the precast concrete walls.
•The board discussed possible solutions for the future, such as building a new elementary school or adding onto an existing school. They also discussed possible uses for a large building the district may purchase. The board resolved to meet again after the back-to-school picnic on Aug. 13.
•The board heard a presentation from the YMCA to jointly build a new Challenger Ballpark in Platte City. The ballpark would include synthetic soccer/football and baseball fields. The Challenger program allows children with disabilities to participate in sports.