School District is Under Budget, Employees May Reap the Benefits

(Gillette, Wyo.) After a few lean years the Campbell County School District is in a position to reward its employees.

“Last year around this time we were sitting around this table talking about cuts,” said Associate Superintendent for Instructional Support Kirby Eisenhauer. “We made some tough decisions and we cut a little deeper knowing that we were probably going to be up against some future cuts.”

Eisenhauer told the board Tuesday that spending projections are below what the district budgeted for this year.

“We anticipate about 2.9 percent of our budget to be left and we really can’t put that into our cap anymore. That’s money that will become recapture money if we didn’t spend it,” said Eisenhauer.

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School district administration has been working with staff communicators from both the certified and educational support personnel to come up with an equitable way to disperse the funds, which is estimated at around $4 million. Both groups recommended the board approve a 3 percent stipend for all employees, a $300-retention incentive for employees whose salary was frozen for one year, and a $600-retention incentive for those frozen for two years. The groups also recommended increasing the base salary for new teachers by $500 to $48,000.

According to Eisenhauer the recommendations accomplish three goals.

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“It would recognize our staff, not put any pressure on future budgets, and help us with our cash situation,” continued Eisenhauer.

Travis Heitmann, a fourth grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary, told the board that the unity in the staff communicators’ recommendations are a result of the increased communication among both groups and district administration.

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“When it comes down to it at the end of the day, it takes a village to raise a kid,” said Heitmann.

The school board will make a decision on the recommendations at their next meeting May 7 at 6:30 p.m.