Though next year’s Monroe County Community School Corporation budget is greater than last year’s, some part-time personnel are concerned because newly-extended school days don’t equate to more dollars. During a meeting Tuesday, MCCSC substitute teacher David Wierhake urged the budget committee to increase substitute teachers’ pay. He said after being with the corporation for a decade, his pay has remained flat. He says an additional hour of work each day should equal more cash.
“The rate is $60 for non-certified [teachers] and $70 for certified. So if you add an additional $10 on just to stay flat — not even addressing the fact that there’s been no pay increase for the past ten years — and I feel that we need to be validated for the sacrifices we make as well as the quality that we put into our time in educating the students in our community.”
School board president Jim Muehling said decreased funding from the state means it’s difficult enough to find funding for full time staff, so part-time employees will have to wait.
“Our first concern are the folks that are on staff now, our certified personnel as well as our support folks,” Muehling said. “Fortunately being in a community such as Bloomington with Indiana University there is a large number of folks that are interested in being substitute teachers. And so unfortunately we can not address that increase at this point in time.”
MCCSC Comptroller Tim Thrasher said this year’s general fund budget is just more than $65 million, a 1% increase over 2010. He said the corporation’s 2010 referendum brings in a little more than the corporation currently uses, but not so much that there’s disposable income or a need to ask for a lower tax rate.
“The referendum budget doesn’t use quite all of the $7.5 million that’s generated,” he said. “There’s still a fair amount of uncertainty about where we’ll be going in future years in terms of state support. So in terms of the recommendation in 2012, we will request the full 14.02 cent tax rate.
Thrasher said raises are expensive, adding the corporation values substitute teachers, but right now doesn’t have the budget to pay them more.