More than 1,800 Kyrene employees will see a little something extra in their December pay.
At the governing board meeting last week, members approved a one-time compensation adjustment that will give 1,662 employees an extra $500 if they work 30 hours a week or more. The rest will receive a prorated amount depending on their part-time hours. Top-level administrators like Superintendent David Schauer will not receive the additional compensation. In total, it will cost the district between $900,000 and $1,000,000.
District administrators said that when they are going through budget preparation for the next year, they always take the conservative route when projecting how much they will need to spend in any given area. For example, they estimate a certain number of teachers will be needed, depending on enrollment, and this year the number of required teachers was short of that estimation. This created a savings in Kyrene's Capital Outlay Revenue Limit (CORL).
"The average teacher, when you look at base salary, compensation and benefits, can be $50,000 to $57,000," said Mark Knight, executive director of human resource services at Kyrene. "We do our best to be conservative and concise, but there are variables."
Funding for the compensation adjustment will come from the CORL funding and a carried forward balance from this year's budget.
They predicted that they would be able to carry forward into this year approximately $2.3 million, but that amount actually came to around $2.9 million.
Combined funding from the two sources equaled about $1.2 million, and the adjustment will be taken from that.
The recent approval of the continuance of the budget override by voters gives the district some wiggle-room with its maintenance and operations budget.
Money from CORL can go to maintenance and operations or the Unrestricted Capital Fund. With the passing of the override, which helps with capital needs, Interim Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Calles said they plan to transfer money from CORL funding to help pay for the adjustment.
Kyrene employees haven't seen a pay raise in three years, and their take-home salary is less now than it was then due to decreases in career ladder and Proposition 301 pay, and increases in insurance costs.
"We've had a need to address compensation for years," said Kelly Alexander, director of community education and outreach services at Kyrene. "A goal in our strategic plan is hiring the brightest and best teachers and retaining them. We hope we are able to do something more permanent in the future."
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