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Park Hill employees
could get 2.5% raise

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark assistant editor

A committee comprised of teachers and administrators has proposed an average 2.5 percent increase for all employees in the Park Hill School District this upcoming school year.

The committee spent five months laying out an agreeable teacher compensation package that features a payout of $185, a one percent minimum raise for all teachers and a 3 percent increase in insurance costs.

When it comes to compensating teachers, a number of factors come into play. Each educator's base salary varies depending on their level of education and teaching experience.

According to the proposed increase, a first-year teacher with a bachelor's degree could earn anywhere from $38,320 to $42,526. A mid-career teacher with 8-years under her belt and a master's degree could earn as much as $65,953. A veteran with a PHD could earn a wage as high as $81,218 a year.

Last year, 41 out of 88 new teachers hired already possessed a master's degree and received compensation well-above the base pay of a teacher with a bachelor's degree. The district also compensates teachers for any years of experience they acquired at another district.

For most public school districts, paying school teachers and support staff accounts for the district's largest expense. Dr. Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent for business services, pointed out that expenses per student have gone up 29 percent over the past 10 years. He said it is largely due to the increased costs of goods and services, as well as additional educational programs.

The district spent $81.5 million on salaries and $22.3 million on employee benefits last year. Salary expenses are expected to increase another $2,325,694 and employee benefits will increase an additional $1,799,245 next school year.

Salary expenses paid to district and business office employees total $12,889,927. For comparison, the salary expenses at five elementary schools including Southeast, Tiffany Ridge, Union Chapel, Prairie Point and Renner equate to $11,360,715, according to early cost estimates.

The district could approve the proposed salary increase at the district's next board of education meeting scheduled on June 9.