FARMINGTON — The Davis School District Board of Education approved the district’s tentative budget for 2019-2020 at their meeting Thursday — which includes a teacher pay raise, and funding to maintain class sizes and support social-emotional learning.
Teachers will receive a 4.75% salary increase and an 8.33% increase in total compensation. This pay raise will require raising property taxes by about $4.50 a month on a home worth $275,000, according to a district press release.
Altogether, the increase in pay for teachers will cost about $12.8 million, said Craig Carter, business administrator and assistant superintendent of the district, at the meeting.
Salary increases for all employees will total $18.1 million, according to a budget presentation from the board’s meeting on May 21.
“It was mentioned earlier in public comment that we’re in a booming economy and all of the monies for income tax that were available to us,” said board member Cheryl Phipps at the meeting. “But unfortunately the Legislature didn’t pass that on in a way that allowed for monies that come through the WPU (weighted pupil unit) to fund the increase, so it falls upon the tax payer of Davis School District to do that.”
Community members can weigh in on this potential tax increase at a truth-in-taxation hearing during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 6.
At the board’s workshop on May 21, Yvonne Speckman, president of the Davis Education Association (DEA), reported that 95% of members were in favor of the pay package at the association’s general membership ratification vote.
The Davis’s 2019-20 tentative budget includes $1.6 million for 11 new counselors, 13 new health aides and five family service workers.
Family service workers will track and mentor students who have been referred for difficulties with behavior, academic performance, attendance or who have histories of trauma. They will also connect students and their families to other resources, according to information shared by Shauna Lund, community relations supervisor, in an email.
Health aides will work at the elementary level and assist with administering medication and supporting students with severe allergies.
The district is discontinuing “504 aide” positions. The new health aides will take on responsibilities of the 504 aide position, which was dedicated to supporting students with disabilities on 504 plans.
Of the 11 new counselors, nine will be elementary counselors. The remaining two will be at the secondary level — one junior high and the other high school.
Other key elements of the budget include $6.9 million for increases in steps and lanes (pay increases for teachers for additional degrees and years of experience), $3.9 million for an additional prep day for teachers and a salary add-on of $350 or $825 (depending on experience level), $1.5 million for the opening of the new Shoreline Junior High School and $400,000 to hire more teachers in order to maintain class sizes as the student population grows.
The district’s population is projected to increase by 400 students next year, according to the budget presentation from May 21, bringing the district’s total enrollment to 72,664.