School board considering 3-4 percent teacher raises

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer

Nothing is set in stone yet, but Portales Municipal School employees could receive a 3 to 4 percent salary increase during the 2008-2009 school year, largely because of state mandates.

The Portales School Board discussed the 2008-2009 budget during a special meeting on Monday night, but no action was taken. The board hopes to approve a preliminary budget during it’s next regularly scheduled meeting on May 12. The 2008-2009 budget takes effect on July 1.

Under House Bill 2, the school district is mandated to give all teachers and other licensed and unlicensed staff a 2 percent increase with an additional 1 percent increase to education assistants, secretaries, clerical, technical assistant, business office support staff, maintenance, custodial, warehouse, delivery employees and food service employees. All district transportation employees are also to receive the additional 1 percent average salary increase.

In its proposed budget, Portales Schools hopes to give 3 percent salary increases to certified employees and 4 percent increases to non-certified employees. Part of the increase is attributed to one day of additional instruction because Portales Municipal Schools will increase the instructional calendar from its current 183 days to 184 days next year.

Following a brief executive session on Monday night, the school board also approved waivers for three Portales High School seniors who did not pass the New Mexico High School Competency Exam. The waivers must receive final approval from the secretary of state, School Board President Alan Garrett said.