School board, MEA present initial contract proposals

School Board
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Wage/salary and contract proposals were presented during the Feb. 15 Monticello School Board meeting.

     The Monticello Education Association (MEA), with Student Success Coordinator Todd Hospodarsky representing (several teachers were also in attendance), presented their initial contract proposal to the school board. The MEA recommended a base salary of $31,465 for the 2018-19 school year. Their non-BA nurse salary for the 2018-19 school year is proposed at $24,543.

     These proposals are in an effort to “retain and attract highly qualified educators for the Monticello Community School District.”

     The school board’s proposal to MEA indicates that no vertical step increases will be granted for the 2018-19 school year. The district is also looking at a base salary of $30,865. This was MEA’s proposal the previous school year, 2017-18.

     In a note with the school board’s proposal, aside from no step increases, they are also not looking for an increase in the base salary.

     “It is clear how much we value every employee in the district,” prefaced Monticello Superintendent Brian Jaeger. “We put a high value on them. We value all of them, no matter what position they hold in the district.”

     Jaeger said he is confident that as salary and wage negotiations begin between the district and MEA “we’ll come up with some kind of solution” where both parties are in agreement.

     “But we have to start some place,” he said, “and we’re open to considerations. This is going to be a process.

     “We want people to still feel satisfied at the end of the process,” concluded Jaeger. “That’s my hope.”

     Salary also plays a role in the school district’s budget planning, and Jaeger presented the school board with the budget timeline going into 2018. By the March 7 school board work session and March 26 regular school board meeting, a public hearing will be held on the district’s budget with final board approval. (During the week of March 12, the budget will be published in the Monticello Express.)

     “We want to make sure everyone is on the same page, especially with new board members,” said Jaeger.

     Jaeger explained that 80 percent of the district’s budget is consumed by employee salaries. Ten percent is the unspent balance, with the remaining 10 percent “left over to fill programming.” Jaeger said that programming includes curriculum, utilities, repairs, supplies and technology, “not places where big bucks are saved.

     “We want to give the scenario for the taxpayers out there,” added Jaeger.

     He told the board the hardest decisions to make affect buildings and grounds “because there are a lot of unexpected” items out there in that department. Another unknown is the Monticello school district’s contribution to Kirkwood’s Jones Regional Education Center, not knowing the anticipated number of students who plan to attend in the next school year.

     “We want those kids to be able to go to Kirkwood,” urged Jaeger.

In other school board business:

     • District Technology Director Curt Tauke presented the 1-to-1 Chromebook technology handbook to the board. The handbook outlines the students’ and parents’ responsibilities with the Chromebooks when they leave the school building.

     Tauke said they will be using a web filtering and parental control software called “Securly” to make sure students aren’t accessing websites they shouldn’t be when they leave the school with the Chromebook.

     “Some websites will be blocked, flagged, and the administrators will receive an e-mail if a student tries to get on a particular site,” explained Tauke.

     Before school starts in August, Tauke said they plan to designate two separate evenings for the 1-on-1 technology rollout. Keep an eye on the date and time.


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