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BELOIT

Most Beloit Turner School District employees will get pay raises for the next school year, although the school board will consider readjusting raises for two administrators.

The Beloit Turner School Board approved a new pay structure earlier this month. The raises—designed in part to boost staff retention—apply to employees ranging from teachers and administrators to bus drivers and custodians.

“The board believes that we have been fiscally responsible and are in a good position to reward our staff accordingly,” school board President John Turner said. “Our teachers do a lot of collaborative and site-level work that leads to our students getting consistent, quality instruction.”

Overall, teachers will receive a 2.63% salary increases of up to $1,250 next school year.

The raises also apply to Superintendent Dennis McCarthy and Brad Boll, director of business services. Turner said the board wanted to increase their salaries to align with other area administrators.

The same consideration was applied to school principals.

McCarthy’s pay raise was approved June 8 on a 6-1 vote, Boll’s on a 5-2 vote. McCarthy is expected to earn $159,683 next school year, while Boll will receive roughly $21,000 more than his previous salary, bringing it to $126,630.

McCarthy said he appreciated the raises, but both he and Boll don’t feel comfortable accepting larger raises than their district co-workers—at least not all at once. McCarthy said he asked the board to consider alternatives, and the board is expected to discuss the issue again July 13.

Turner said the board “greatly appreciates” the work that Boll and McCarthy have done while remaining loyal to the district.

“The board is giving them the same percentage raise as other administrators,” he said. “The remaining increase will be a much needed wage adjustment to put their salary in the 75th to 80th percentile in the Rock Valley Conference.”

McCarthy said he respects the board’s decisions, although he had hoped his increase could have been parceled out over time.

The tax levy is expected to remain flat, as the board examined multiple budget scenarios to avoid burdening taxpayers, McCarthy said.

In an email, McCarthy said the district is concerned about the coronavirus pandemic affecting state funding for schools and is planning accordingly.

“The reality is statewide tax collections are down, and education is a large part of the state budget,” McCarthy said. “Therefore, we believe we have to prepare for what state legislators may decide to do. Unfortunately, there are some legislators out there who treat schools as a burden rather than the critical part of our communities we know they represent.”

McCarthy said district leaders hope lawmakers recognize the need for more school funding.

Among the raises approved by the board:

  • The district’s 104 teachers will receive a $1,000 raise for the 2020-21 school year, and they are eligible to earn an additional $250 if they complete a training seminar this summer. Overall, that amounts to a 2.63% salary increase. Teachers are paid $42,750 to $76,070.
  • Some teachers will receive larger increases as they pass milestones of three, six and nine years of working in the district.
  • Support staff will see an average salary bump of about 4.6% as the first step of their pay range rises from $14.34 per hour to $15 per hour. The district’s 120 support staffers include teacher aides, nutrition staff, buildings and grounds crews, secretaries and bus drivers.
  • The two elementary school principals will earn salaries of $105,303 for the next school year, which puts them in the 80th percentile of comparable positions.
  • The middle school principal will earn $110,421, which is slightly below the 80th percentile.
  • The high school principal will be paid $113,145, again slightly below the 80th percentile.
  • The pupil services director will make $102,716, below the 80th percentile.
  • The assistant principal, who works in the middle and high school, will earn $83,811.
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