Cassville teachers receive raises for new school year

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

School district boosts base salary to $35,250

Teachers working for the Cassville school district who are certified in education are scheduled to receive up to a $750 salary increase for the 2015-2016 school year.

Richard Asbill, superintendent, said the school board approved the change.

"Each year, the board meets with the Cassville Community Teacher's Association (CCTA), which has a salary and welfare committee," he said. "They have a group of teachers who represents each of the buildings. We meet with the superintendent and two board members. We start meeting the first part of April, and in May, start looking at the budget, health insurance, raises and information in regard to what other school districts are doing.

"The committee itself meets as a group of teachers and evaluates priorities for certified staff and what they would like to see the board do as far as raises and so forth.

Asbill said the fiscal year ended in June, so the board waits to evaluate where the district is and where it is going to end up financially.

"At the meeting, the CCTA comes to the board and they have one or two suggestions or recommendations they want to make in regards to the certified salary schedule," he said.

This year, the CCTA asked for the base, which is $34,750, to be raised by $500, making it $35,250. In addition, there is an experience line so teachers who have been here 10, 15, or 25 years get an extra bump. The bottom two of those are $1,000, the top two are $750.

"The board reviewed and approved the base increase, then added $250 to the line where teachers who've had more than 10 years experience get an additional $250," Asbill said.

Asbill said the change took effect July 1, but teachers may not see the increase reflected in their paychecks until September.

The change affects teachers who are certified in education and have met the designated length of service requirement.

"We have two employee groups," Asbill said. "We have certified, which are any one with a minimum of a bachelors or above in education, and then you have classified staff. Those are support staff such as paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians and food service.

"The new salary schedule started July 1, but teachers have what's called a summer check where they get paid over 12 months including June, July and August based on the last fiscal year."

Asbill said understanding the new salary schedule is complicated because July 1 starts the first of the fiscal year, but most teachers won't get their first new check until September.

"That's because teachers basically are working nine months but get 12 checks, and so by doing that, they get a June, July and August check, and the new schedule comes in September. The only exception to that are teachers who are on extended contracts, people who do extra duties or who we refer to as 10- or 11-month employees. They would get theirs in August."

Asbill said the district usually sends out contracts in July of each year, and this year, contracts will reflect the updated salary schedule for the certified teachers who qualify.

The district evaluates salaries on a regular basis and how any changes affect the budget. Last year the salary base was increased by $250 annually.

"Cassville has tried to stay competitive not only with the Big 8 but in southwest Missouri," Asbill said. "And when we offer better salaries we're able to recruit better teachers."

"We evaluate retirements and resignations and you look at the teacher who's been here 20-30 years and retires and end up hiring a teacher with no experience or 5-10 years, and the difference between the two is going to provide the district with savings. But, in the end, we try to stay at what's as budget-neutral as we can."

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