WEATHERSFIELD SCHOOLS Board approves raises for teachers, other staff

The school district has again begun buying text books.
MINERAL RIDGE -- The Weathersfield school board approved pay raises for teachers and other employees Wednesday.
The district's 69 teachers, represented by the Mineral Ridge Education Association union, were given a new, two-year contract by the board effective July 16 through July 15, 2007. A $225 signing bonus was approved for the 2004-05 school year and teachers were given a 2-percent increase for 2005-06 and a 2.25-percent increase for 2006-07.
The 30 nonteaching employees, who are members of Ohio Public Schools Employees Local 722, also received a 2-percent increase for the 2005-06 school year and the $225 signing bonus. Nonteaching employees settled a new, one-year contract in May with no raise, but had a "me-too clause" in their contract. The employees include custodial staff, cafeteria workers and library aides, who are all paid hourly.
Supervisors and nonunion employees, which includes building secretaries, got the same two-year pay increases and bonuses as teachers.
Board member Fred McCandless said: "I think it's the best agreement that we could get and I think it's one we could afford."
Board member Dr. Douglas Darnall said raises have not been determined for the superintendent, building principals and the treasurer, but they "will be discussed soon."
About the levies
The district approved a 5.5-mill, five-year emergency operating levy to generate $538,168 a year in Nov. 2004 and renewed a 4.2-mill, five-year emergency operating levy in May. It generates $418,128 a year. The district had been under state fiscal watch, which was lifted in June after approval of the May renewal issue.
Superintendent Michael Hanshaw said he was "very proud of the scores" released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education, which raised the district from continuous improvement to effective.
The district has also resumed a cycle of textbook replacement starting this school year with the purchase of new science textbooks for kindergarten through 12 at a cost of $78,191.77.
Hanshaw said the district plans to buy new social studies books, after four or five years of no new purchases.

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