R-2 reviews DVM, teacher salary increase during preparation of 2022-23 budget

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

The dollar value modifier and teacher base salaries are two of the top agenda items for the June 22 Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education budget workshop according to Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay …

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R-2 reviews DVM, teacher salary increase during preparation of 2022-23 budget

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The dollar value modifier and teacher base salaries are two of the top agenda items for the June 22 Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education budget workshop according to Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy.

“We are not going to make any motions or approve any budgets (during the workshop),” Hardy said on Tuesday. “We are just talking through what we need to do it improve the budget.”

The board of education generally meets on the third Monday of each month. However, its new fiscal year budget is due by July 1, so the meeting is rescheduled to the last Monday in June each year to allow time for the governor to sign bills into law.

“The only reason we move this meeting is that this is a budget month so we meet the last Monday,” Hardy said. “The only motion we will make is to pay the bills so that our vendors can be paid in a timely fashion.”

Hardy said the dollar value modifier (DVM) that was passed in the House and Senate at the end of May, must either be signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson by July 15 to go into effect or rejected on veto power. If the governor does nothing with the bill, it automatically goes into law.

“Our contingency is on factions of the government,” Hardy said.

The budget workshop will be used to discuss contingency plans.

If DVM is signed into law, the Gasconade County R-2 School District will receive an additional $1 million in annual revenue, which could potentially assist with the second agenda item.

“The governor’s recommendation to increase the teacher salary base to $38,000,” Hardy began. “What DVM would allow us to do with that —.”

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has handed down several options for school districts that are trying to figure out how to budget the increase, whether permanently or temporarily. Hardy has four options lined out that the board is considering.

“Then there are four options the board can go with,” she said. “They can choose to do absolutely nothing. They can choose to add to the base, an additional $500 or $1,000 of permanent monies. Or do they want to base it on the contingency of the governor, approve the $38,000 to the base and move the salary schedule up?”

Hardy said they are not considering the thirteenth stipend check like other districts have set into place.

DESE has offered a cost-share grant that they will pay 70 percent of the increase if the school district pays 30 percent to increase wages to a $38,000 base salary for the first year. However, if the grant goes away, so do the funds.

“Whatever they decide to add to the base, it will be something lasting to the employees,” Hardy said about the board of education.

Hardy said the district would rather amend the salary schedule than do a flat raise to the base rate. The Gasconade County R-2’s base rate pay is currently set at $35,300 for new teachers. There are at least 42 teachers working in the district who are in their first two years of teaching and would be affected by the pay increase.

“For each person to receive the benefit, you have to adjust the entire salary schedule so all employees would benefit,” she said. “We could just raise the base rate and leave everyone else where they are, but our schedule does not reach $38,000 annually with a bachelor’s degree until they have been here for seven years. If we only do the base rate increase, it only affects teachers in years one through six. If we adjust our base and adjust our salary schedule, everyone benefits.”

Hardy said the board will review its options for both agenda items, but will not make a final decision until the June 27 meeting when they will hopefully know more from Jefferson City.

The board will also discuss the stipend list for all of the coaches, extra duties, and club/class sponsors during the budget workshop.

“The only action will be to approve the bills,” Hardy said. “Monday night they will be able to finalize.”

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