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Gladewater ISD adopts balanced budget, gives raises

By Christina Lane
June 16, 2014 at 11 p.m.

The Gladewater ISD school board adopted a balanced $15.7 million budget on Monday that includes step raises and a 2 percent salary increase for all employees.

The district's tax rate will remain unchanged at $1.17 per $100 of valuation.

The salary raise will be given to all of the district's 309 employees, including teachers, nurses, counselors, librarians, bus drivers, custodial workers, maintenance crews, cafeteria workers and others.

Superintendent J.P. Richardson said $12.1 million was budgeted for salaries in 2014-15.

An employee will get their usual step increase plus 2 percent, so - for example - if an employee's step increase would give them a 3.8 percent raise, that employee will get a 5.8 percent raise, Richardson said.

Gladewater ISD has a pay scale for each type of employee that is based upon years of service. Each additional year of service counts as a new step on the pay scale.

So a teacher with no experience starts out making $31,334. After completing his or her first year, that teacher moves up to having one year of experience and obtains a salary of $31,936 with the district - however, this year, that salary would be increased by another 2 percent.

The step pay scale for teachers ranges from those with no experience to those with 20 years of experience, who are paid $48,623 annually.

The tax rate remains $1.17 per $100 valuation for maintenance and operations.

District taxpayers approved a $35 million bond election in May that will include a maximum debt service tax rate of 36 cents per $100 valuation.

Richardson said that since the district has not yet sold any of the bonds, no portion of the debt service tax rate will go into effect yet.

With regard to the bond, trustees on Monday approved a contract with the Texas Association of School Boards and Sledge Engineering for construction/facilities program management services.

The company will serve as "another set of eyes for the community" and for the district as it embarks on its bond projects, Richardson said.

Larger school districts typically employ someone with a background in building; however, for smaller school districts such as Gladewater, that oversight typically falls on the superintendent.

"I want to make sure we are being fiscally sound," he said.

The company will be able to note where the district could save money throughout the process. The cost savings the company can provide typically would cover the cost of its fee.

The school board on Monday also approved a 2014-15 calendar that calls for children to start classes Aug. 25, with the last day set for May 29. The calendar includes 175 instructional days with students receiving a week off for Thanksgiving and spring break, as well as two weeks at Christmas.



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