/ Articles / AV-W School Board approves salary increases
The Arbor Vitae-Woodruff School Board last week approved an administrative and support staff salary increase of one percent for the 2020-21 school year.
The board essentially did the same for teaching staff.
Board president Jack Jurries said the district had been “pretty much” 1% above the consumer price index as it relates to salaries the past two years.
“It’s kind of been the going rate of everybody in the area,” he said.
Board member Randy Quade said a decision at the meeting wasn’t necessary, but noted the board’s next regular meeting isn’t until April 27 — four days before new personnel contracts are due to be finalized and signed.
He also noted the district had gone with the 1% over the CPI for administration but also the current CPI, used to help determine wages, plus $500 for teaching staff.
“What the $500 did was it averaged out to about 1%,” Jurries said. “But it just came in differently depending on where you are on the salary spectrum.”
He used a teacher at $50,000 per year or more as an example.
“If you’re under that, you’re above 1%,” Jurries said. “With just CPI, we figured the math out. If you averaged it at 2%, after 20 years, you’re only making something like $43,000. It’s not worth it I guess.”
He said he didn’t want to see that happen to district teachers.
“And we don’t want to lose the (administrative and support) staff we have. So we implemented the $500 on top of the CPI, whatever it will be,” Jurries said. “To help retention.”
“It keeps some continuity to what we’ve been doing,” Quade said.
Jurries said the district needs to be careful about going above the CPI “because that’s where your tax base is.”
“So, when you’re getting (tax revenue) from different places, you’re only getting CPI,” he said. “You’re not getting anything above CPI and we all know health insurance goes up more than 1.8%. Anything you go above and beyond that, that’s where you start to see a deficit in your budget in the future.”
Jurries said the board also needed to keep an eye on its enrollment.
As of March 2, AV-W’s enrollment was down 24 students compared to the year before.
District finance manager Gina Kolzow said the district would see the revenue loss from those 24 students next year.
“We have to be kind of cautious with the money for the future of the school,” Jurries said. “We want to do all we can to not have to got to referendum because that’s not so easy.”
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected]