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Teachers, school board, approve new contracts
Bond refinance saves more than $60,000
new slt school-reed
Great Bend Superintendent Brad Reed

Salary increases were approved Monday by the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education.
The base salary for a teacher increased $100, to $36,000.
The board ratified the 2016-2017 teachers’ contract, which was ratified by the Great Bend-National Education Association last Friday. Money for pay increases represents an additional $332,260, or 1.6 percent more money assigned to the salary schedule.
Board member Susan Young explained that this does not translate to a 1.6 percent raise for every teacher.
Board president Joyce Carter noted that the school district is dipping into reserves to fund the pay increases. “We are not raising taxes to do this.”
“This should show the board’s confidence in our staff.” Superintend Brad Reed said, noting the board increased the budget for teacher salaries by $700,000 in the past two years.

Other pay increases
Classified employees will receive a 1.2 percent pay raise across the board (about 20 cents an hour), and administrators will receive a 1 percent raise across the board. This was first approved by a 4-3 vote, in a motion that did not include a raise for the superintendent, who received a pay increase last December.
However, after discussing personnel matters for 45 minutes in executive session, that motion was rescinded. A new motion, which passed 7-0, approved the raises for everyone outside the licensed agreement for teachers, including Reed.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Carter explained that there was some confusion in relation to the December action.
“Not everyone was clear when the superintendent’s contract starts,” Carter said. She described Reed’s last pay increase as an “adjustment” rather than a “raise.”
“The board is certainly united in their support of Brad,” she said.
The Great Bend Tribune requested administrative salary information earlier this year. Reed’s salary was $120,000 for 2014-2015 and $127,600 for 2015-2016. Assistant superintendents’ salaries were $94,085 in 2014-2015 and $95,026 in 2015-2016.

Bonds refinanced
In other business, the board ratified an agreement to refinance the last two years on a bond issue, lowering the interest from 4.1 percent to 1.17 percent. This will not extend the length of the bond, but will save the district $62,363 in interest and another $14,000-$16,000 in incidental costs.
“There really is no down side to it that I can see,” Reed said. The bonds will be purchased by Farmers Bank & Trust, Great Bend.