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KSJD Newscast - April 22nd, 2016

  • Teacher salaries and retention remain a concern for the Montezuma-Cortez School District, but the picture looks better for the coming year.
  • Montezuma-Cortez School Board agreed to put $22,000 for the Montezuma School to Farm Project into next year’s proposed budget.

Teacher salaries and retention remain a concern for the Montezuma-Cortez School District, but the picture looks better for the coming year. On Tuesday, Re-1 District human resources director Dan Porter told the school board so far the district is replacing 19 teachers for next year, compared to 46 who left two years ago and 33 last year. Board member Sherri Wright voiced concern that a few new teachers will be hired at higher salaries than those of some long-term faculty. That’s because district salaries have been frozen, while new hires may come in higher on the salary schedule because of degrees they hold, areas of specialization, or other factors. Wright said, “We have teachers that have been here 25 or 30 years and they’re flat, and we’re bringing in people that don’t know our district and may not be going to stay.” Superintendent Lori Haukeness said in the long term the district will need to address its salary schedule to make sure it is competitive and fair.

Also on Tuesday, the board agreed to put $22,000 for the Montezuma School to Farm Project into next year’s proposed budget. Project representatives called it a “cutting-edge” effort, noting it was one of just four school-garden programs nationwide chosen to participate in a recent planting effort with Michelle Obama at the White House. Goals for 2016 include implementing the program at Mesa Elementary.

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