Lonedell R-XIV School District Superintendent Fred VanBibber said he wants to make sure he has as much information on the table in front of him as possible before he makes a recommendation to his board of education about what to do about teacher salaries for the upcoming school year.
In May, the Lonedell school board tabled making a decision on district salaries until June after a discussion centered on those financial figures.
“I told the board if they wanted to add money to the base salary schedule in May, that’s fine,” VanBibber told The Missourian late last week. “But, I said I would like to wait until I have more questions answered.”
The Lonedell school district’s base teacher salary is $29,000 annually. VanBibber, who is getting ready to start his fourth year as R-XIV’s boss, said that figure has remained unchanged since he became superintendent there. However, he also said salaries aren’t frozen as step increases have been given to teachers.
Teachers also received a $1,000 stipend this past year for working on curriculum improvements within the district.
The superintendent said he wants to have a better idea of how the district’s 2012-2013 budget will look before he makes a recommendation to the board on salaries.
“With the economy the way it is and our enrollment going down, things fluctuate,” VanBibber said. “We don’t know yet how our funding will be from DESE (Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education). We could take a hit because of our declining enrollment. We need to take all of that into consideration as best we can before we decide on some things.”
VanBibber also said the district’s insurance costs are expected to increase by 12 to 14 percent in the new budget year. He said currently R-XIV’s policy has a $0 deductible.
“It’s very good insurance,” he said. “We have to take that into consideration.”
The bottom line, the superintendent said, is for the district to spend what it needs to spend, see how it can save and still ultimately do what is best for the students.
“What we need to do with all this is determine how big our pie is and how then we’re going to cut it up.”
Lonedell staffs 32 full-time teachers.
A study conducted by a representative from the Missouri State Teachers Association compared Lonedell’s teacher salaries with about 70 similar districts. The study’s results were shared with board members in May.
The study revealed that the average base teacher salary in those districts was $27,604 compared to R-XIV’s $29,000 with the low being $25,000 and the high being $34,105 Twelve of the surveyed districts had base teacher salaries of $30,000 or above.
Enrollments ranged from eight to 740 students. Lonedell houses slightly more than 300 students, but had more than 400 a few years ago.
Lonedell’s maximum annual teacher salary is $56,000. Other figures were a $38,500 maximum for teachers with only a bachelor’s degree, $43,000 with a bachelor’s plus, a $33,000 minimum for having a master’s degree and a $48,000 master’s maximum.
The study’s averages came up with an average teacher maximum of $44,302, $35,538 for a bachelor’s maximum, $38,875 for a bachelor’s plus, $30,374 for a master’s minimum and $42,351 for a master’s maximum.
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, at the school on Highway FF.