Purdy School District adopts financial strategy for new year

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Salaries scheduled in preparation to vote on storm shelter bond

Looking ahead to the new school year, the Purdy Board of Education adopted its preliminary budget from figures that closed the 2015-2016 school and determined salaries for administrators and teachers for the coming year.

Amounts projected for the annual Secretary of the Board Report to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education showed revenue for the 2015-2016 year at $6,993,348.93 and spending at $6,574,792.41. The district closes the year with a fund balance in reserves of $2,877,801.74, after transferring $418,556.52 from the general fund to the capital improvements building fund.

The budget included new salaries for administrators. Superintendent Stephen Chancellor will earn $98,262. Associate Superintendent Mindi Gates will earn $64,590. Matt Gower, principal for grades 7-12, will be paid $70,040 in his second year, and Janet Boys, elementary principal, will receive $74,175.45.

For teachers, the board raised the base by $500 to $30,500. Board members reversed the pattern of paying new teachers more for early years of service and less for later years. Steps for years of service continue to increase over time. Those who completed their master's degree will see steps increase by $400.

According to Chancellor, the increases cost the district approximately $61,000. He figured the changes roughly represented an average 3 percent raise, a little more for longer term employees.

Board members have also named compliance officers for the coming year. The only change followed the retirement last year of Donna Terry. Kendale Ellis picked up her duties as coordinator for the English language learners program and as migrant coordinator.

The board set out-of-district tuition rates at $4,000 for the year or $2,000 a quarter. The last person who paid out of district tuition graduated in 2012.

The annual property tax levy hearing was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Aug. 15, during the next monthly meeting. The district has proposed not raising the tax levy, even if voters pass the $2.3 million bond issue to build a new storm shelter and performing arts center on Aug. 2. Chancellor explained that the size of the project is the maximum amount of debt the district can absorb without any changes, because in recent years the board paid down its debt in advance.

"We've got a 78-cent debt service [portion of the levy] now," Chancellor said. "We could go to 98 cents with no levy increase. We can meet all the goals we've got with the money we have. To build, we need credit. Our credit is tax dollars. That's why we have to ask voters for permission."

Chancellor has scheduled open house at the school for 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 11, prior to the first day of classes on Aug. 16.

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