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School board ratifies salary agreements at special meeting

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Salary schedules for teachers and educational support staff were ratified Thursday at a meeting of the local school board.

Chad Cole

The special meeting was held without the usual weeks-long advance notice because the district needed to act on the matters quickly as it completed its final week of the 2017-2018 fiscal and academic year, said Chad Cole, assistant superintendent for Finance and Operations.

The district also is preparing for the Monday arrival of its new superintendent, Dr. Ann McIlroy. She takes on the role held by Interim Superintendent Susan Sanchez since February 2017, when Sanchez replaced Superintendent Tom Burris following his unexpected retirement.

One of the more important issues at Thursday’s meeting was the final decision regarding the 2018-19 salary schedule for teachers and other employees involved in educational-related functions and who are represented by the Roswell Education Association and the Communications Workers of America collective bargaining groups.

During the regular monthly June 12 meeting, the board signed off on salary schedules that provide an additional $1.8 million in pay for teachers, library staff, educational assistants, coaches and other educational support personnel.

“The salary schedules for those two groups were approved, but we hadn’t received all the tentatively agreed and signed off ratifications of the remainder of the collective bargaining agreements” by the June 12 meeting, Cole said. “So that’s what that was.”

The Thursday meeting also formalized actions on three other matters. In addition to some routine budget adjustment requests, the board officially approved four bus transportation contracts and gave its thumbs-up for a district application for federal funds.

The bus contracts also were previously approved in concept at the June 12 meetings. Two of the bus contracts are with Hamill Transportation and Estes Transportation (which does business as Pollard’s Trucking). The other contracts covered regular school bus transportation and then out-of-district travel for athletics, band or other school activities.

Cole said a third matter requiring action this week involved supplemental federal funds for special services. He said that the district just recently received from the New Mexico Public Education Department the required application for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act B (IDEA) federal monies used to pay for educational and special services for students diagnosed with intellectual, learning or other disabilities.

The board approved the educational and financial parts of the applications so that they could be submitted before the end of the fiscal year.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.