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USD 408 teachers get base pay raise

Staff writer

Marion-Florence USD 408 teachers will receive salary increases for the 2012-13 academic year as a result of an agreement ratified Thursday in a special meeting of the Board of Education.

“We added $800 onto the base salary, so our base salary will be at $33,000,” Superintendent Lee Leiker said. “That then trickles through the salary schedule to apply to everybody.”

Teachers are placed on a step-and-grade scale according to education and experience, and steps were added to the experience columns to make them more uniform.

“The benefit is that everybody has the ability to move a step. Some of them have been frozen. This year they’re all going to get to move,” Leiker said.

“We have a significant number of staff that have a master’s degree — that’s a good thing, that’s exciting. That’s what we encourage,” Leiker said.

The changes in the base and steps will result in total salary increases of $1,150 to $1,250 per staff member.

A second major revision in the agreement converts sick days to discretionary days as teachers build up the number of years they have taught for the district.

“If they’ve been in the district six to 10 years, they’re going to get six discretionary days and seven sick leave,” Leiker said. “They can use discretionary days as sick leave days if they need them, or as personal days if they need them.”

The total of 13 days for both remains the same, but the change allows those with more years greater flexibility in their use.

“If somebody has been in our district more than 15 years they will get all 13 days as discretionary days. It’s an incentive in longevity for our district,” Leiker said.

Marion-Florence Educators Association voted May 22 to approve the agreement.

Basketball floor

Finish on the basketball court at USD 408 Sports and Aquatics Center that is separating was the second topic of discussion.

“We’ve had an issue with the finish sticking to the painted surface,” Leiker said.

Sports Unlimited of Stillwater, Okla., installed the floor, and has made one unsuccessful attempt to correct the problem, which is primarily a cosmetic issue, Leiker said.

“All of the people who have looked at it have said we have to get the finish off of there to correct the problem,” Leiker said.

Leiker discussed alternatives with the board, of which the preferred option is the use of a water-based finish, which minimizes the time use of the floor is restricted.

“The dry time is literally minutes or hours vs. weeks of cure time, especially in high humidity,” Leiker said.

The board authorized Leiker to pursue an agreement with Uveeco Innovative Coatings of Laramie, Wyo., to refinish the floor. Leiker said the work would tentatively be scheduled for July.

New school bus

The board held a special meeting May 21 for reviewing bids for a new school bus.

The board accepted a $55,000 bid from American Bus Sales of Collinsville, Okla. for a 2006 78-passenger Bluebird bus with 33,000 miles.

A second bid was submitted by Kansas Truck of Wichita for a 2009 model of the same bus with 45,000 miles.

Last modified May 31, 2012

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