The Aberdeen School Board tonight takes up (and, by the time I finish typing this, may well have approved) the negotiated agreement with its teachers for the 2016–2017 school year. Aberdeen gave its teachers a two-year contract last year, but the Blue Ribbon teacher pay raises approved by the Legislature discombobulated that plan and brought the board and the teachers back to the table to fairly divide up the new sales tax money the state will be sending us come July 1 (remember, the extra half-penny sales tax kicks in on June 1, so the state can write those first extra checks in time for the start of the new school fiscal year).
The new contract will give every certified public school teacher in Aberdeen a 3% raise, plus $4,500 raise.
Based on my estimates, that agreement should raise the average teacher salary in the Aberdeen Central School District from $42,825 to $48,609, 0.2% above the state’s target of $48,500.
Turning to benefits, Aberdeen is dropping its $1,000-deductible health plan. It is keeping two cheaper plans, one with a $2,000 deductible, the other with a $3,000 deductible and a health savings account. Employees will pay $240 to $264 more over the year for their health plans; those taking the HSA plan will see district contributions to those accounts increase $240 for individual plans and $480 for family plans.
Hourly employees receive the same health coverage from Aberdeen’s self-insurance. Hourly employees will receive the 2.5% cost-of-living increase negotiated last year. The lowest hourly wage in the district will be $9.46 for an entry-level food service worker. The highest hourly wage will be $37.24 for the network administrator who reaches the new Step 15 on the schedule.
Administrators will receive $4,500 raises. Administrative base salaries will range from $56,000 for the food service director, $74,000 for our elementary principals and the A-TEC director, $80,000 for our two middle school principals, and $100,000 for our high school principal.
Last year, the board set Superintendent Becky Guffin’s salary for this year at $139,377 and for the coming school year at $143,027. This year’s agreement amends Dr. Guffin’s 2016–2017 school year pay to $143,877. Dr. Guffin served on the Blue Ribbon K-12 panel that produced the data and proposal necessary to drive over $60 million to the schools for teacher pay; Dr. Guffin is receiving only $850 in new money.