2017/2018 proposed budget approved

At the school board meeting Wednesday, members approved a proposed budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal year. This budget has yet to be adopted.

MARICOPA — The Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board approved a proposed budget at its meeting Wednesday for the 2017/2018 fiscal year that includes a 3-percent pay raise for all employees.

In addition to that, teachers are to receive a 1 percent raise from the state.

There was some disagreement on these terms. School board member Torri Anderson expressed her desire to change the percentage to 2 percent across the district but still give teachers 3 percent. She brought to attention the difficulty filling teacher positions in the district and said an incentive would help with that.

Other board members stated their opposition, saying there is a whole support system of employees within the schools that help teachers effectively do their jobs, and they deserve the same pay raise.

“Sometimes the money isn’t the only thing that will bring teachers here,” said President Patti Coutre.

Some members reiterated their desire to be the highest paying district in the county and are trying to implement strategies to accomplish that. The budget the board approved was a proposed budget, which gives the district freedom to continue to make small adjustments.

One of the other items discussed during the meeting was the possibility of allowing high school seniors to walk with their class at graduation even if they are a few credits short of the required amount. This would only be allowed in situations where the student faced hardships beyond his or her control. The board decided to table this agenda item and vote on it at a later date.

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