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LINDEN — Roughly $100,000 will be used to go toward raises for teachers working in the North Montgomery Community School Corporation.
The funding for raises comes from what the school district expects to save after state legislatures made a one-time appropriation to the state’s teacher retirement fund as their answer to help with public education’s funding struggles.
“During the legislative session this spring, the legislatures approved to move $150 million from their cash reserve to the teacher retirement fund,” said Jim McBee, the director of business and transportation at North Montgomery, at Monday’s school board meeting. “It’s a one-time movement. In doing so, that allowed the cost to school corporations to go down.”
McBee said the school corporation was paying 7.5 percent of the salaries for most teachers. By not paying that into the teacher retirement fund this year, the North Montgomery School Corporation will save an estimated $100,000 which McBee said is more of a conservative estimate.
“That was (the state’s) way of helping schools find money and have money for raises,” McBee said. “We’ve estimated the savings to be $100,000 and we’re using all of those dollars to go toward teacher raises this year.”
Formal bargaining with the North Montgomery Teachers Association for teacher contracts begins Sept. 15.
The board approved on Monday the teacher attendance incentive for the 2019-20 school year. Teachers who have perfect attendance on the days immediately before and after a holiday or break will receive a $100 stipend and teachers who are absent four or less days throughout the school year will receive a $250 stipend.
Superintendent Dr. Colleen Moran reported that during the 2018-19 school, 52 percent of the corporation’s 124 teachers received the stipend for not missing a day immediately before or immediately after a break. She said that 44 teachers received the stipend for missing four days or less last year.
“Every day that teachers are here, the students get the best instruction,” Moran said. “It also reduces the amount of the expense for subs which is helpful in providing teachers with raises. We save money and the students get better instruction.”
Moran said that $11,000 was paid out in stipends to the teachers who missed four days or less, but it would have cost the school corporation more than $12,000 for substitute teachers had they missed school.
In other business, the board approved a bid of $439,827 to Office 360 for furniture as part of Phase 2 of the renovation project at the middle school and high school. McBee said it’s the last big bid for furniture and that the renovation project is on schedule. A community open house will be scheduled at each of the three elementary schools once renovations are complete.