On Monday, the Neosho R-5 Board of Education will consider increasing pay for the district’s classified employees, including custodians, cooks, paraprofessionals and administrative assistants.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. at the Neosho Administrative Center, 418 Fairground Road.

Based on information provided in the board packet, if approved, the proposal would be a step toward making the classified base salaries more competitive with those in other area school districts.

Currently, Neosho is on the lower end of area base salaries for custodial positions. 

While Neosho R-5 custodians make $8.77 per hour, the Seneca R-7 School District pays $11.71, and McDonald County R-1 pays a base salary of $12.47.

Meanwhile, cooks in Neosho make a base salary of $8.66 per hour, which appears to fall in the middle of area cooks’ wages, with Republic paying $8.72, Bolivar paying $9.70, and Marshfield paying $7.39.

However, if Neosho school board members vote to approve the salary proposal, custodial base pay would increase by 10 percent, an 87 cent per hour increase.

Other classified staff, including paraprofessionals, secretaries, food service and computer techs, would receive a 2 percent increase in base pay.

“Due to changes made in salary schedules and comparison data with the area, we have considerable turnover and trouble filling positions in custodial and food services,” district administration wrote in the recommendation to the board.  

If approved, the proposed increases to base salary would result in an estimated district impact of $93,000. 

Meanwhile, bus drivers could see an increase in their trip pay, which would be bumped from $8.15 per hour up to $10 per hour with a limit of 16 hours per day.

“Based upon recommendations and comparisons, our route pay is good, but our trip pay is lower than much of the area,” administration wrote.

Bus drivers in the Seneca R-7 School District make $8.90 per hour, with up to 12 hours allowed in one day, while McDonald County pays $11.50 per hour, with up to 16 hours allowed in a day.

The increase in trip pay would have an estimated $10,000 impact.

The salary proposal also includes an experience step for each certified and classified employee who has earned a step on their schedule, which would have an estimated cost of $244,144.

The board will also consider an additional $27,000 in administrative salary recommendations.

If all increases are approved, the action will result in an impact of $374,144 or just more than 1 percent of the unrestricted fund balance.

Based on current budget projections, the year should end with an unrestricted balance of nearly 24 percent, while the goal at the beginning of the current fiscal year was to end with at least 20 percent.
In other business, the board will also consider an administrative recommendation to extend the 2012-2013 budget into the 2013-2014 school year.

The move is intended to allow administration more time to review the budget, as well as get input from incoming superintendent Dan Decker, before submitting next year’s budget for the board’s approval.

The board will also consider a revision to the current budget, to cover a slight increase in expenditures, which will allow the district to cover bills that are due by the end of this fiscal year.