Herald-Whig

Hannibal teachers, administrators, support staff slated to get raises

By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 23, 2019 7:30 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Hannibal School District employees will receive pay increases upon returning to work for the 2019-20 school year.

The School Board agreed Wednesday to give 2 percent pay raises to all certified employees, including teachers and administrators. Those workers also will receive additional incremental bumps in pay based on their years of experience and levels of education.

The district's support staff, meanwhile, will receive 3.2 percent pay raises next school year. Superintendent Susan Johnson said the higher increase for support staff is needed to help the district's pay scale keep pace with new minimum wage requirements adopted statewide.

The new minimum wage -- approved when Missouri voters passed Proposition B in the Nov. 6 election -- is being phased in over a five-year period.

The first phase took effect Jan. 1. It involved raising the state's minimum wage by 75 cents per hour to $8.60 -- up from the previous $7.85. The law requires the minimum to keep rising by 85 cents in each of the next four years. That means the wage will jump to $9.45 in 2020, $10.30 in 2021, $11.15 in 2022 and $12 in 2023.

Johnson said school districts are not required to pay the state-mandated minimum wage, but she feels the Hannibal School District will have difficulty finding enough qualified support staff if it doesn't at least match the minimum wage paid by other business entities.

"We want to have competitive salaries for our staff," she said.

The 2 percent increase for certified staff members will put the starting pay for Hannibal teachers at $35,009 next school year. Johnson said that means Hannibal's starting pay will be among the top four out of 14 comparable school districts in Missouri.

The board also agreed to increase extra-duty pay for employees who take on additional assignments within the district. She said the pay will be set at a level that's equivalent to -- or 1 percent higher -- than other local school districts and schools in the North Central Missouri Conference.

The board also agreed to boost the hourly pay for summer school teachers to $26.50 starting in the summer of 2020. Teachers are slated to be paid $26 per hour this summer.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, the board put its stamp of approval on the sale of $14.5 million in general obligation bonds to L.J. Hart & Co. of St. Louis, its municipal bond underwriter. The bond sale came about after 84 percent of district voters approved the bond issue in the April 2 municipal election.

The money will be used to finance a series of heating, ventilation and air conditioning and control system upgrades in several buildings along with districtwide security and safety improvements and the replacement of windows, doors, lighting systems, plumbing and electrical services.

Business Manager Rich Stilley said the long-planned construction work is slated to begin next week at the high school. He said 70 to 80 tradesmen will be working from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday all summer until the various work is completed.

The goal is to have everything finished by Aug. 15.

Stilley said access to the areas in and around the construction zones will be closely controlled, with hard hats and safety glasses required of everyone entering any work area.

In other action, the board:

º Heard from Johnson that recently approved state legislation will provide millions more dollars for Missouri's public schools, but she wasn't able to say how much extra money will be coming into the Hannibal School District.

º Learned that 53 staff members and 90 students had perfect attendance during the 2018-19 school year.

º Heart about an effective new reading intervention program that was introduced this past year at Mark Twain Elementary School. Students enrolled in the program showed higher-than-normal gains in reading.