PALMYRA, Mo. -- The Palmyra School Board this week adopted a $10.56 million budget for fiscal 2019.
The budget has a surplus of $292 and will require an operating tax rate of $3.348 per $100 of assessed valuation. That's the same tax rate as in fiscal 2018 and reflects a voluntary rollback of 40.2 cents from the highest possible voter-approved levy, Superintendent Kirt Malone said.
The budget includes a $750 increase in the base salary for all teachers, along with a $400 bump for each vertical step on the salary schedule based on years of experience. Noncertified employees will receive a 2.269 percent raise in addition to their step on the pay scale.
Malone said the raises were made possible primarily because the district expects a 1.5 percent increase in local tax revenue while at the same time the Missouri Legislature has fully funded the state aid formula, which provides key funding to public schools.
The hike in the base salary for teachers will put the district's starting teacher pay at $32,800 a year.
"We have one of the highest base salaries in our conference," Malone said, referring to the Clarence Cannon Conference. "We're proud of that."
The budget reflects the addition of a part-time dean of students at Palmyra Middle School. Malone said the extra assignment will go to Brian Wosman, who already serves as the district's transportation director and athletic director.
The district also will be adding a special education teacher at the middle school but won't replace an elementary school teacher who retired.
The budget also reflects a 9 percent increase in employee health insurance costs. It contains $916,000 for various capital improvements, including $780,000 to replace the middle school's 20-year-old heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.
Other capital improvements will involve replacing the doors in the high school's small gym, and buying new cafeteria tables, a school bus, a utility vehicle and a new driver's education car.
The board also agreed to use First Choice Physical Therapy to provide athletic training services at all home varsity athletic events except football. The district will continue to use Dr. Gina Pontius and Kim Bunten of Priority Physical Therapy for varsity football games.