FARMINGTON -- The Davis School District recently approved cutting one non-instructional day from teacher's contracts, essentially decreasing their take-home pay, which comes only a few years after two other non-instructional days were cut from teacher's contracts for budget reasons.
The decision also includes a furlough day of no pay for employees.
The one exception to the cuts are employees who only work when kids are in school, such as bus drivers or lunch staff. The one-day reduction will save the district $1.4 million.
Other changes approved by the school district board include no cost of living increases for licensed teachers, a medical insurance premiums increase of 3.2 percent, and a medical deductible increase from $1,500 to $2,000 for single coverage and from $3,000 to $4,000 for two-party or family coverage.
The changes are still pending approval by the members of the Davis Education Association and the Davis Education Support Professionals, which the board expects to occur in the next few days.
Even with the cut, there is still a $2.1 million shortfall in the district's budget, according to district officials.
"We understand the challenges we face, but we will continue to work with those challenges while trying to balance the budget and still meet the needs of our students," said District Business Administrator Craig Carter.
Davis School District received slightly less than $9 million of new legislative funds this year, but the cost obligations are taking a large chunk of the money, said Carter, referring to rising health insurance and retirement costs, expenses for 700 new students anticipated in the next school year, and federal sequestration cutting funds for programs.
Also adding to the challenges for employees is the shifting balance between salary and benefits. Salaries have seen a 35 percent increase according to Carter, while retirement and health insurance have both seen more than 90 percent increases in the last several years.
"Our compensation package used to be more salary based, but now our benefits package is a much larger piece of the package, with much less going into our bank account, and more money into retirement and insurance," said Carter.
He affirmed that covering licensed teachers' lane and step increases are still a priority for the district.