The Hannibal No. 60 School District's Board of Education approved almost $700,000 in additional salary for school year 2019-20 on Wednesday night.
"We want to have competitive salaries for our staff. We want to attract the best to come teach our kids," Superintendent Susan Johnson said. "It is good for us to strive to have competitive salaries, not just for our certified staff, but also our support staff."
Certified staff members, which includes teachers, will receive a 2 percent pay boost, which will cost the district about $447,000. "That's a pretty good chunk of change," she said.
Certified staff representatives had requested 3 percent.
Administrators were also approved a 2 percent salary increase, which will amount to $80,000.
In a break with tradition, members of the support staff received a larger pay raise than certified personnel —3.2 percent. That salary increase will be equivalent to $106,000, Johnson said.
Last year's passage of Proposition B, which guarantees a steady rise in the minimum wage in Missouri until it reaches $12 per hour in 2023, was behind the higher increase. While the law does not apply to school districts, Johnson said the Hannibal school district must keep pace if it wants to retain its support staff workers and be able to find adequate replacements when necessary.
"I think we would all agree we want to be competitive in the job market," she said.
Teachers who perform additional duties, such as coaches, will receive more compensation after a survey salaries paid coaches in the North Central Missouri Conference and by area schools —Palmyra, Monroe City in Ralls County —revealed that Hannibal was lacking in some areas. The pay hikes will make Hannibal salaries for coaches and others performing extra duties equivalent with other conference school districts and neighboring districts, if not a percentage point better, Johnson said.
"That's going to cost us around $50,000, but I think it's money well spent," Johnson said, adding that the last time extra duty pay was increased in Hannibal was over a half decade ago, before she became superintendent.
The school board voted in April to maintain salaries, at Johnson's request, until the financial picture on the state level became clearer. It now appears unlikely that any education funds will be withheld, Johnson said.