R-2 board approves ‘Plan A’ budget with hopes governor will sign DVM, teacher salary bill

‘Trigger budget’ in place upon governor’s approval

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 6/26/22

‘Trigger budget’ in place 

upon governor’s approval 

 

BY ROXIE MURPHY

Republican Staff Writer

rmurphy@wardpub.com

 

The Gasconade County …

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R-2 board approves ‘Plan A’ budget with hopes governor will sign DVM, teacher salary bill

‘Trigger budget’ in place upon governor’s approval

Posted

The Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education on Monday night chose to approve Budget Plan A — with a modest $750 salary increase to certified staff and teachers — until or unless Gov. Mike L. Parsons signs HB 3002 that suggests raising new teacher pay to $38,000 and SB 681 dollar value modifier (DVM) to help fund the increase.

“We are in interesting times that we have to have a real good understanding of not just the budget but how that reality on the bigger expense buckets hit,” said Board President Glenn Ely. “Making sure that we are working together and are well-informed, well-aligned to those best estimates.”

Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy recommended that the board approve the amended budget line item that included raises for the teachers, taking current teacher salaries from $35,300 to $36,050, but add an amendment in case the governor does sign the bills into law.

“On the preliminary budget, we met about this last week as a workshop item — there are a lot of different factors going into the school year with so much up in the air,” Hardy said. “But in order to start operating on July 1, we need to approve a preliminary budget. What can we afford to do if that dollar value modifier is vetoed? One thing I will say about this board is they are very conscientious of how we are spending funds. So in order to do that, we need to go over budgets. We would love to pass all of the budgets we looked at and if it is vetoed, can this be sustained all of the time.”

Hardy’s revised budget includes projections from the state foundation formula which is expected to lay flat.

“So we are not getting extra funding from that,” Hardy said of the state foundation formula. “We have the ESSER3 funds, but they are not recurring funds. The state adequacy target remains unchanged. Local revenue is projected due to an increase in assessed valuation last year. The budget also reflects transportation reimbursement to be fully funded at 75 percent of 100 percent.”

Hardy said when they built the budget they went off of what they received back in 2021-22.

“We are building it on the money we know we will get from the previous year,” Hardy began. “With rising gas prices, we don’t know how much of that 75 percent it is going to take.”

She added that with enrollment numbers down for the year, the state received less funding in addition to price increases.

“We will see an increase if the governor passes SB 681,” Hardy said.

If SB 681 DVM does pass along with HB 3002 — teacher salary increases — the board has a plan.

“The budget funds the salary schedule with a two to seven percent increase to the salary base and corresponding to the classified salary schedules,” Hardy said. “In addition, the budget will reflect an additional increase to the classified schedules to remain competitive with the changing minimum wage increase within the state. It also provides step advancement for services and education earned.”

Hardy said the goal to keep Gasconade R-2 competitive with surrounding schools is difficult to maintain because of declining enrollment. 

The budget does reflect an increase in the allowable insurance cap — up to $562 for eligible employees.

“Depending on what happens with the legislators, you will see the proposed budget for if the dollar value modifier passes, for the $38,000 to the base, and adding those steps to the employees,” Hardy said. “Since we do have to adopt a budget tonight, I recommended approving the preliminary budget A with $750 to the base and making those adjustments to the classified salary schedule with a contingency that if the governor signs HB 3002 and SB 681 then Budget B would replace Budget A.”

Ely said on the board they are learning as they go and learn to ask for more information as they go.

The board discussed the various options to increase teacher pay at the budget workshop on June 22 to decide how raises and steps would best fit into the budget. 

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