Wage increase for teachers, staff, approved in Maple
The district's Tiger's Den child care program continues to operate in the black.
MAPLE — The Maple School Board approved wage increases for teachers and staff at its April 11 meeting and received an update on the district's child care program, Tiger’s Den.
Teachers will be moved two more steps on the salary scale in the 2022-2023 school year, which will cost the district roughly $201,000 in salary and benefits.
“Teachers don’t get a percentage along with a step as they used to 10 years ago due to budget constraints now,” said District Administrator Sara Croney. “But we need to keep our great teachers and inflation continues to rise.”
A 2% increase for support staff, middle management and administration was also approved. The estimated cost for the increase is $59,000 – roughly $14,500 for middle management and administration, and approximately $44,500 for support staff.
Both motions passed unanimously after the board returned from closed session. The decisions were made despite the fact that there was no increase in state per pupil aid for the 2022-2023 school year.
“The state basically said use your ESSER dollars to function, but those dollars were specifically tied to helping students recover academically and mentally from the pandemic,” Croney said. “But one of our highest priorities is to keep great teachers and support staff for our students' benefit.”
The board also approved allowing teachers and staff to carry over up to five days of personal leave beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, with certain stipulations on when the days could be used.
The Maple School District's child care program, Tiger’s Den, has continued to operate in the black, board members were told.
“A big reason that Tiger's Den has been able to keep offering services through these tough times is that I have an amazing staff employed, and I have not had to deal with staff turnover like other centers have,” said director Casey Alexson. “I have had to increase the hourly rate to compete with surrounding businesses, but in my eyes that has been well worth it. A day care facility cannot function without a good support system and consistent faces for the kids, and we definitely have that.”
Located at Northwestern Elementary School, Tiger's Den provides before and after school programming for ages 4-13 and day care for all 4K children in the district on the three days they do not have class. Care is also available on all off days of school and all summer long, Alexson said.
The program is paid for with fees charged to parents, Croney said.