Teacher Raises Kept To Minimum


Roger Wholly, a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Council, told the Payson Unified School District Board Monday that the council had very little interest in increasing the base salary for teachers. The advisory council suggested no significant increases for any position in the district unless it requires more work, Wholly said.

The board approved a salary schedule for teachers that is the same as last year's schedule.

A beginning teacher in the district with a Bachelor of Arts degree and no additional credit hours will receive $22,835 in their first year of employment with the district. A teacher with a master's degree, 66 additional credit hours, and 24 years' teaching experience reaches a maximum salary of $41,425.

"They'll get step moves and education credits that will average out overall (at) 2.85 percent for teachers, 2 percent for classified workers and 1 percent for administration," Payson School Superintendent Herb Weissenfels said in an earlier interview.

The board approved the classified employee schedule, which includes positions such as secretaries, custodians, bus drivers and mechanics, with a pay scale that ranges from $7.57 to $15.27 an hour.

The board also approved the hiring of two additional math teachers, one for the high school and a math/science teacher for Payson Center for Success, to help students better prepare for the math-intensive Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test.

Board members delayed a decision to upgrade the position of dean of students at the high school to assistant principal. The recommended change in title and job description would make the position a 12-month, rather than a 10-month, salary contract which would require an increase in benefits.

Board members also tabled a request to grant a $4,500 salary increase to the district's doctoral-level psychologist.

With projected expenses barely meeting revenues, the board asked District Business Manager Bobette Sylvester to look for creative ways to pay for the tabled advisory council's recommendations and staff requests.

The 2000-01 maintenance and operation budget was increased by $368,000 over last year to $11.8 million or 3.2 percent.

Student enrollment for 2000-01 is projected to increase by 42 students or 1.6 percent over last year.

The 2000-01 capital budget of $982,416 is an increase of $14,677 more than last year.

Sylvester told the board the budget must receive final approval in June and be adopted in July.

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