A pay raise for teachers in the Lake School District comes with a slightly longer school day.
The Lake Education Association and school board have come to agreement on a new three-year contract that includes pay raises and an extension of 15 minutes to the school day.
According to Jeff Carpenter, district treasurer, teachers will receive base salary increases of 2.75 percent in 2014, 2.25 percent in 2015, and 1.95 percent in 2016.
Tim Krugh, board president, said the teaching staff has endured a time of cost-cutting and the agreement is “fiscally sound.”
“They have gone three years without an increase in the base salary and a complete freeze last year, along with insurance concessions,” he said. “We have struggled financially and they endured a painful Reduction in Force last year and helped us pass a new operating levy. We need to compensate our employees competitively and this represents a reasoned fiscally sound agreement.”
He said the extra quarter of an hour to school days represents “a huge victory for the educational success of our kids.”
Jim Witt, district superintendent, said the contract covers about 87 teachers.
Michael Sibbersen, Wood County Auditor, recently announced the county’s real estate tax distribution for the second half of 2013.
A total of $73.3 million was distributed, including $45.1 million for the county’s 18 school districts.
Lake schools received approximately $3.8 million.
Lake voters last August approved a 6.75-mill operating levy.
At the time, Krugh attributed the support to several factors, including the board enacting about $1.5 million in spending cuts earlier in the year that resulted in more than 40 employees being let go; Walbridge Elementary School being closed, and the all-day, everyday kindergarten program reduced to part-time.
“We made the cuts and let the public know we really had to pass a levy this year or we were looking at seven-figure deficits by the end of the year,” Krugh said after the levy passed, adding the cuts were to remain in place even though the levy passed.
School times announced
Starting and dismissal times for the school system have been set for the 2013-2014 school year, Witt said.
Lake Elementary School will begin at 8:45 a.m. and end at 3:15 p.m. The middle school and high school will begin at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:32 p.m.