By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
The Havre school board on Tuesday approved pay raises for the district's administrative staff, and also adopted preliminary budgets for the elementary and high school districts for the 2004-2005 school year.
The compensation package for the administrators closely mirrors one that teachers received last month, and includes a 4 percent salary boost and a $60-a-month increase in the district's contribution for health insurance. The administrative pay raises will cost the district $32,000 next year.
The package applies to 10 administrators, including those in the district's central office at Robins Administration Building and the principals of each of Havre's five public schools. It also applies to three teachers who handle administrative duties and were not included in the package other teachers received last month.
The pay raise does not apply to HPS Superintendent Kirk Miller, whose contract is negotiated separately. The school board approved a one-year extension of Miller's in January. His current three-year contract, which was approved in spring of 2002, was set to expire at the end of next school year. The extension means his contract now runs through June of 2006.
As a result of previous negotiations, Miller will receive a 2 percent salary increase during the 2004-2005 school year, raising his salary to $80,455. Terms for the 2005-2006 year have not yet been negotiated.
The $32,000 administrative compensation package was included in the preliminary budgets approved by the school board Tuesday night.
The board made no changes to the two budgets, which were presented by district officials last month. They include cuts in several areas.
The budgets for fiscal year 2005 include $6 million for Elementary District 16 and $4.1 million for High School District A, with overall spending of $10.17 million. That figure is about $350,000 more than last year. The budget for next year was bolstered by a $165,000 tax hike approved by voters in May and about $210,000 in increased funding from state and federal sources.
The extra money is eclipsed by a $375,000 increase to teachers' salaries, the $32,000 administrative pay raise, higher insurance costs and an anticipated $60,000 utility bill increase next year.
Future budgets are expected to be strained even more, HPS Clerk Ric Floren said, citing district calculations that school enrollment will decline by about 90 students during the next three years, resulting in $500,000 less from funding sources.
In preparation for that, the budgets proposals for 2005 contain cuts in a number of areas. The largest is a 10 percent slash in supply expenditures for nearly every department in the district.
The proposed budget also includes eliminating national travel and cutting five staff positions.