Print Mingus teachers get $1,500 check
Written by Greg Ruland   
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:00

A $1,500 check for services rendered goes out to Mingus Union High School certified teachers, counselors and administrators Friday, Oct. 21, thanks to a 4-1 vote by the MUHS District Governing Board on Oct. 5.

The onetime pay increase, in lesser amounts, also goes to classified support staff and bus drivers, MUHSD Business Manager Kirk Waddle said.

Calvin Behlow teaches a World Studies class for freshmen and sophomores at Mingus Union High School on Monday, Oct. 17. All staff at the school will be receiving a one-time pay increase check on Friday, Oct. 21, in recognition of their increased workloads due to previous budget cuts.Support staff will receive a $500 bump while bus drivers receive $250, Waddle said.

“People are really excited around here,” he said. “It should be a real nice motivator.”

Board Chairman Jim Ledbetter, Clerk John Tavasci and board members Brenda Zenan and Anita Glazer voted in favor of the one-time payment. Board member Mike Mulcaire voted against.

Superintendent Tim Foist asked the board for the raises in recognition of the extra hours staff contribute to perform more work with fewer people, a fact of life in a time of drastic state budget cuts, Waddle said.

Foist recommended the one-time payment over a permanent increase because of a drop in enrollment expected in both the 2013 and 2014 school years.

“The board would like to give an ongoing, permanent increase, but we’re trying to reduce base line spending in anticipation of lower enrollment in the next two years,” Waddle said.

The school’s budget is based on the number of students attending the district. When enrollment drops, so do budgets, Waddle said.

If the raises were made permanent, the district would be saddled with paying more in salaries when it received less property tax revenue to spend.

Another benefit of the one-time payment is the amount of the raise is obvious, unlike a permanent raise, which would be paid in installments over the entire year.

The payment represents the first raise paid by MUHS since 2008, he said.

The payment does not come from the district’s general fund.

“The big point is we’re using money we received from the federal government and the tribes. This doesn’t impact property tax,” Waddle said.

Money for the raises comes from payments in lieu of property tax received from the U.S. Forest Service and also gaming contributions from the tribes, amounts accumulated by the district during the last two years.