Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fayetteville School District to Raise Teachers’ Salaries

Fayetteville School District will be able to bring teachers’ salaries more in line with the other large districts when schools open this year.

The increased salaries will cost the district some $4.5 million each year. But no tax increase was necessary, just some creative financing.

Voters in 2005 rejected a 4.8 millage increase, an increase that was touted as being necessary to raise salaries.

You may wonder then, as did I, how is this possible. Here’s what I’ve learned…

Transferring the West Campus to Northwest Arkansas Community resulted in savings of approximately $1.9 million. (High school students who had attended West Campus were absorbed into the main high school campus but caused little added expenses to the high school’s existing budget.)

Federal funding is expected to increase by about $500,000.

Normal growth will increase property tax revenues.

Now for the creative part of the financing – simply become a little less conservative when projecting the percentage of property taxes the district expects to receive.

In the recent past, the district budgeted as if only 90% of the property taxes would actually be collected. (Collecting all 100% of taxes just never happens in reality.)

But FSD has now changed their projection to 93%.

So, between normal growth and simply changing the projection rate, another $2.1 million becomes available.

There is no doubt the raises are necessary to recruit good teachers. Fayetteville had previously offered a first-year teacher a salary of only $36,000. Springdale offers $40,521, Rogers $41,000, and Bentonville $40,503. Fayetteville will now be able to pay a novice teacher a starting salary of $40,500.

Arkansas law requires a minimum pay of $28,611 for new teachers. While some school districts actually do pay that little, no district in NW Arkansas would be able to hire teachers for that pittance.

Additionally, Fayetteville will now be able to raise salaries for experienced teachers. Again, the raises are necessary to keep good teachers. Fayetteville teachers will now top out at $65,301, Springdale $69,021, Rogers $67,088, and Bentonville $64,170.

It’s interesting to note the Little Rock School District, the largest public system in the state with 26,600 students, has a starting salary of only $31,595 and tops out at $61,549.

Good teachers are worth every penny they earn. Let’s be glad they will get a well-deserved raise.

For more information:


No comments: