The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education unanimously rejected reinstating a pay step increase for teachers that taught in the district during the 2008-2009 school year.
Because of the missed pay step, teachers hired since that time have a higher pay scale than these longer serving teachers. School Board President James Whitt said the district is in deficit spending, and is not in the financial shape necessary to reinstate the pay increase.
“Teacher compensation is a priority for us,” Whitt said. “Every year, we value teachers. We value the compensation that we’re paying them.”
Columbia Missouri National Educators Association President Susan McClintic was not happy with the board’s decision.
“It’s a small amount of money,” McClintic said. “It certainly would’ve been a great deal of good will.”
Whitt did not rule out the possibility of reinstating the increase, but McClintic said it is low on the school board’s priority list.
“(The school board) continues to go on and hope to ignore that and go away,” McClintic said.
Because of the district’s budget woes, Whitt said the school board is working on ideas to help alleviate the budget shortfall. They plan to have a public forum to discuss the board’s ideas later this year.