The Augusta USD 402 Board of Education approved the 2018-2019 Budget to be published and a budget hearing set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018.
School board members approved a higher local option budget (LOB) from 30 percent to 33 percent without increasing the mill levy to taxpayers, this past May. The move provided a way to address the Board’s goal of improving salary, wages and benefits for district employees.
The decision to raise the LOB, along with the new finance formula approved by the State Legislature contributes to an increase in revenues. The district also benefits from an increase of 5 percent in the local assessed valuation.
Budget allows for salary increases
“Last August we discussed the board goal of improving wages and salaries across various groups,” Superintendent John Black explained, “We started looking at the groups last October and made reports to the Fiscal Committee.”
The following recommendations were reviewed by the Fiscal Committee:
• 5 percent hourly wage increase for each classified employee (except tech support)
• Tech support increase would be $2 per hour
• Should any current classified employee be paid less than 10 cents above an employee staring employment at the base wage the existing employee will be increased so the difference is 10 cents
• Full-time will receive an increase in individual health insurance from $507.02 to $543.55. An increase of $36.53 per month or $438.36 per year.
• Full-time will receive 12 days of leave per year an increase from 10 in previous years.
Recommendations for other employee groups:
• Directors - $3,600 increase for each director (tech, building and grounds, finance)
• Administrators- $4,000 increase for returning administrators
Substitute teachers: Recommend increase from $88 per day to $95 per day
Other related recommendations for all employee groups:
• Increase sick leave from 10 days a year to 12 days a year for all 12 month employees (custodians, maintenance, grounds, tech, district office and 12 month administrators)
• Increase accumulated sick leave to equal teachers at 130 days
Classified Positions $74,802
Tech Dept. $16,640
Assist. Supt. Position (salary and benefits)
Substitute Teachers $20,000
Total less Assist. Supt position
Board members approved the increases for the 2018-2019 administrators, directors and classified positions.
BOE member Larry Winter stated, “I want to thank the groups that studied the wage increases that were needed.”
Also approved were two supplemental positions, Middle School golf assistant and High School BEST Robotics assistant.
Safe and Secure Schools Grant
The Kansas Department of Education recently distributed $5 million in state grants to improve safety at schools in more than 150 districts. The Safe and Secure Schools Grant is a matching grant and the cost for the district is $31,006.40, while the grant funds $31,006.41 for the project.
The total cost of the project that was approved Monday by the BOE is $61,012.81. Sandifer Engineering was the winning vendor and will include security camera purchases for Augusta High School, Ewalt Elementary, and Robinson Elementary.
Superintendent Black advised that an application would be submitted next year for cameras at the other district locations.
The cost split for the three locations is as follows:
AHS - $35,787
Ewalt - $9,904.87
Robinson - $15,320.94
Dr. Black explained that after a light pole fell down at the baseball field, staff wondered if it would be wise to replace the wooden poles with metal poles and replace the lighting system with LED lights. He advised that a meeting has been scheduled for today concerning recommendations from an electrical engineer, and that those recommendations would be presented to BOE members for further discussion at an upcoming meeting.
Leading up to a board goal setting meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, Dr. Black shared board accomplishments from last year.
1. Approved a 3 and 4 year-old preschool classroom starting this month with 16 students.
2. The BOE received multiple reports on AVID and JAG-K throughout the year. AVID will be expanded to 10th grade and JAG-K plans to expand by 5-10 students.
3. Internship and shadowing opportunities were explored at Augusta High School.
4. Staff met at various times to develop starting salaries for employees in the district.