By Jeff Rusack
There will be an extra 2.3 percent funding increase for teacher’s salaries in Sioux Falls.
But, educators shouldn’t grab their calculators just yet. The budget has yet to be finalized and school officials won’t just give everyone a flat raise.
In order for Sioux Falls school officials to keep a balanced budget, some cuts were needed in the preliminary 2013 budget proposal.
The school board would not have a National School Board membership and two bus routes would be cancelled.
A two-year-old plan that cuts the amount of energy use system wide has helped the district find a few extra hundred thousand dollars.
“Decreasing about $800,000 from the utility expenses due to the energy education program,” said Superintendent Dr. Pamela J. Homan.
If the budget is approved, funding for teachers’ salaries would increase by 2.3 percent. The school district will receive that money from cuts and money from the legislature.
“We will take that one time funding and combine that with 0.8% so that our overall staff increase to the salary scheduling process would be 2.3 percent,” said Homan.
However, it doesn’t mean that every teacher will receive a raise.
“That doesn’t mean that each staff member goes home and takes what they make this year and multiples it by 2.3. We have to apply that to the salary schedules first, by funding the movement on those schedules. Then we go back and spread out the remaining amount on the schedule,” said Homan.
The Sioux Falls School Board will host public meetings in the coming weeks to discuss the budget, before giving final approval in June.