KUSD budget increase led to teacher raises

Kingman Unified School District approved the 2018-2019 school budget Tuesday. (Photo by Vanessa Espinoza/Daily Miner)

Kingman Unified School District approved the 2018-2019 school budget Tuesday. (Photo by Vanessa Espinoza/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – After the #REDforED mayhem all over the state of Arizona and here locally in Kingman, raises for teachers in the Kingman Unified School District was in the 2018-2019 school budget of $43.7 million that was approved at the school board meeting Tuesday.

Ahron Sherman, KUSD finance manager, said that he saw a $3 million increase in the district’s maintenance and operation budget.

“Not all of it can be pointed at the state,” he said. “They didn’t increase our budget by $3 million, but what we have done with frugality mixed with their bump this year. That’s why we were able to increase that high.”

Teachers are paid from the maintenance and operation budget and based on the increase the district was able to give “substantial raises.”

“Basically everyone that is considered certified at the school level, counselors, principals, assistant principals, deans, TOA’s (teacher on assignment), teachers, the whole deal, they all got a 10 percent raise,” Sherman said.

Classified personnel such as paraprofessionals, custodians, lunchroom workers received a raise based on the minimum wage plus something from the district.

“That was important to us because we were trying to get everyone out there with raises and get teachers and principals up where they should be,” Sherman said.

Besides the educators getting a raise, athletics and music extracurricular activities received a budget increase.

“Their budgets didn’t go down. They have more travel money, we raised their equipment and supply budgets,” Sherman said.

Before it would cost both extracurricular activities $2.50 per mile to travel and now it will cost them $1.75.

In this year’s budget, each school will receive $1,000 for desks and chairs, which was a request made by the principals. Every school year, schools will receive this amount of money to use for desks and chairs until money runs out or cuts have to be made, Sherman said.

Grades K-5 will be receiving new reading and language arts textbooks where students will be taught about these two subjects. The book adoption cost the district $500,000 and next year $450,000 of the budget will go into getting more new textbooks for students.

“The big raise that we were able to do, without the state, to combine that money and come this big it was something our district is pretty proud of,” Sherman said.

In the technology department, the district budgeted $150,000 for bell and intercom system upgrades and $50,000 for camera system improvements.