For the first time in about 10 years, substitute school teachers on the Kenai Peninsula will be getting a raise this year.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday decided to bump the pay of certified and noncertified substitute teachers from $100 to $120 per day and from $84 to $100 per day, respectively. Their pay is based on an eight-hour work day.
Besides teachers, a number of support positions also will see an increase in pay.
Secretaries will get a $1 raise to $10 per hour, as will custodians, stock handlers, couriers and theater crew members.
Food service workers, including cashiers, cooks, assistant cooks and food service managers will see 55-cent increases taking their pay to $9.30 per hour.
Pay for nurses goes from $14 to $18 per hour, and temporary pool employees' pay goes from $9 per hour for instructors and senior lifeguards to $13; junior lifeguards' pay goes up from $7.25 to $8.75 per hour; and pool cashiers and locker room attendants will get $8.75 per hour instead of $7.15.
Board member Bill Hatch, in recommending the changes, said, "We've got to have good substitutes in our schools. I would like to give them more remuneration."
Later, school board member Liz Downing said, "I'm glad the substitute teacher pay is higher ... so those teachers who are on call at 7:15 in the morning are rewarded."
On an 8-1 vote, the school board approved a contract with a new assistant schools superintendent.
Dave Jones, who has been director of finance and assistant football coach with the Kodiak Island Borough School District, was hired to replace Sam Stewart. A graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., Jones has a law degree from the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula, Mont.
The sole dissenting vote was voiced by Debbie Brown, who said what she remembers most following several budget processes is that the public wants the school board to reduce middle management.
"I owe it to those that share this view," Brown said. "I vote 'no' now."
Dr. Nels Anderson countered Brown's assertion saying when compared with other school districts across the state, KPBSD is lowest in administrative costs by as much as 50 percent in many districts.
Marty Anderson said the state Legislature has commented that the Kenai Peninsula school district should be proud of what it accomplishes at its cost.
Board member Sammy Crawford said she looks forward to working with the new assistant superintendent.
Board of Education Goals and Objectives described by School Superintendent Donna Peterson as "smart goals," were approved by the board unanimously.
Divided into four major categories, the goals call for evaluating board bylaws and protocols; completing a long-range plan; improving communication with the public on substantive issues and evaluating education relative to size, populations and programs of each school.
Board members would be encouraged to attend at least two community or site-level discussions on the long-range plan and provide direction to KPBSD administration regarding priorities, specific wording and intent of all sections of the plan.
To attain its goal of improving communication with the public, position papers on issues would be developed for use as talking points.
Two board members agreed with the need for a workshop to be conducted on the difference between work sessions and the general business meeting of the board.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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