The West Liberty School Board of Education approved a $1 hourly wage increase for paraprofessionals Monday evening at the regular school board meeting held at the District Administration office.
The seven percent increase will cost the district $51,514 more in the next school year, total wages climbing from $652,212 to $703,726.
School board member Jake Burroughs said those wages needed to increase to keep and attrack paraprofessionals, noting the district has had a difficult time keeping those positions filled. Tier pay for paraprofessionals starts at $13.25 per hour on up to $14.60 per hour for more than 11 years of service.
The district also approved the 2021-22 fiscal year budget following a hearing where there was no public input Monday night. The district budget is just under $30 million at $29,913,664 and an over $2.3 million increase from 2020 at $27,567,508, but below a reestablished budget of $32,661,829 that included a $1.7 million increase in construction costs.
The new budget includes a 12.4 percent increase in instruction costs from $11.13 million to $12.2 million.
Revenues for the district are decreasing, falling from $22.4 million in 2021 to $18.5 million although state aid will remain about the same at just over $10 million. The district will get $4,470,093 in property tax revenue in 2022.
The school board is also looking over and refining school policies, approving the first reading Monday night.
The board also heard reports from West Liberty Middle School Principal Vicki Vernon on creative ways teachers are educating students while updating the board on construction progress of the 10 classroom addition, complimented in the report of Superintendent Dr. Diego Giraldo.
Early Learning Center updates were also provided by Dr. Lindsay Meeker while the board heard updates as well on education at the high school from Principal Brenda Arthur-Miller. More on all of those reports will be printed in next week's Index.
The district also accepted the resignation of Ruben Galvan as eighth grade volleyball coach, appointed Amanda Daufeldt and Amanda Wulf as ELC Model Teachers and hired three new employees including Paige Aguirre in food service, Rob Chelf as a part-time groundskeeper and Morgan Nichols as the new high school art teacher for the next school year.
Look for more in next week's Index.