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R-3 teachers get 3% raise in base salary

by Danielle Hillix
Landmark editor

Teachers in the Platte County R-3 School District will see their base salary increase by $800. It's an increase of slightly less than 3% in the base pay.

A new salary schedule was approved by the R-3 Board of Education at a meeting Thursday.

The $800 increase brings the district's 2002-2003 base salary to $28,600. According to the board, across the salary schedule the district's teachers will see an approximate 4.5% percent increase in average salary.

In the same motion, the board agreed that the salaries of employees not on the current salary scheduled would also be increased by 4.5 percent, while substitute teacher pay was increased by $5 a day to $80 per day.

"This schedule came after a healthy discussion with the teacher committee," Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst said. "We did our best to be fair. I think this schedule will do a good job of attracting new teachers and rewarding the old."

In other business, Harpst announced that the school district was selected as a recipient of Missouri's Safe School Grant. It is an "all but sure thing" that the district will receive $73,000 from the state for an alternative school to assist at-risk students. The district will be responsible for $31,000 in funds.

"Our drop-out rate, at times, is higher than it should be," Harpst said. "This alternative school is a vital step to getting kids to stay in school."

"We need to reach out and get a diploma in the hands of these kids," assistant superintendent Ron Harmon said.

On a recommendation from Harmon, the board approved the purchase of curriculum software for the alternative school.

The board also received updates on its current building projects, including Siegrist Elementary, Paxton Elementary, and the ballfield. A representative from the construction company said punchlists for the Siegrist and ballfield projects will be done by early August, meaning the projects will be "essentially complete." The representative also said the projects are still "well within budget."

Resignations were accepted from Noella Palmer, Paxton School secretary, and Renee Lambert, PCHS secretary. Mrs. Palmer is resigning after 32 years of service with the district. Mrs. Lambert is expecting a child.

The next board of education meeting will take place on Aug. 15 at 7 p.m., immediately following the district's Back to School picnic.