Pay negotiations ongoing at Lowellville Local Schools
By SARAH LEHR
Contract negotiations are ongoing for the Lowellville school district.
The previous teacher contract expired Aug. 31.
During the 2015-16 school year, teachers received a raise of 0.5 percent, according to district Treasurer Greg Slemons. Also, during that school year, teachers received step-pay increases ranging from 1 percent to 5 percent annually, depending on experience level.
The K-12 principal, Christine Sawicki, received a pay increase from $76,000 to $80,000 last school year. Slemons said that bump corresponded with a pay decrease for the assistant K-12 principal, since the district hired a new employee for that position and shifted responsibilities.
Superintendent Eugene Thomas’ salary increased by 3 percent last school year, according to the treasurer. The district hired Thomas in 2014 at a starting salary of $100,000.
Lowellville teacher pay ranks second to last in the county at an average of $43,788 for 2013-14, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Canfield City schools ranked first in Mahoning County with an average teacher salary of $60,375, and Sebring Local Schools ranked last at $41,430.
Calls to the Lowellville Education Association were not returned late last week.
An ODE report determined salaries accounted for 60.74 percent of the Lowellville Local Schools district’s operating expenditures in 2015 and estimates the district spent an average of $9,014.43 per pupil.
The district ended June 30, 2015, with a unreserved fund balance of $1,690,888. That balance was expected to grow to $1,905,000 by June 30 of 2016, according to the district’s most recently submitted financial forecast.
Lowellville Local Schools has an average class size of 12 and received an “A” ranking for academic performance on the state’s school report card.
The district enrolls about 600 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Classes began Aug. 22.