St. Mary Parish school employees to receive $605 extra
CENTERVILLE, La. — St. Mary Parish public school teachers waiting to find out how much of a boost they will get to their paychecks received their answer from the school board Thursday.
Teachers and the rest of the school system employees will receive a one-time $605 pay supplement, after board District 7 member Wayne Deslatte’s motion was unanimously approved.
“Teachers are not being given a big increase in pay,” Deslatte said, talking about the $605 payment. “And I don’t think the rest of the employees should be left out.”
The payment will be made to school employees who are hired by Oct. 1 and remain employed in December.
Alton Perry, chief financial officer, said the pay is a one-time supplement that came from a late addition to the state budget last month.
Legislators approved a $69 million, or 2.75 percent, boost to the Minimum Foundation Program formula. That was the typical increase until state budget problems caused yearly freezes. Teachers have not received a state-funded raise since 2008, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s first year in office.
At least half of the money had to be used to pay classroom teachers and the other 50 percent was left to the discretion of local school districts, Perry said.
The increase in the state school funding formula was for the 2013-14 fiscal year but Jindal said he intends to ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to make the increase and pay supplement permanent.
The St. Mary Parish allocation for the pay hike was about $1 million. The cost of giving the supplement to 658 teachers is about $506,000, Perry said. Giving the same supplement to the rest of the employees would cost about $532,000. The additional payment exceeds the allocation by about $25,000. The difference would be paid from local funds.
Sales tax revenues will sufficiently increase to easily cover the $25,000, he said.
Perry said sales tax collections for the last fiscal year were about $1.4 million more than expected. The $18 million sales tax collection exceeded the $16.6 million budgeted by 8.3 percent.
In a letter to the school board, Morgan City Mayor Frank Grizzaffi stated the city is discontinuing businesses from dumpster services and the action includes schools in Morgan City. There is a 60-day grace period prior to termination of service, the letter said.
Brad Wiese, maintenance supervisor, received permission to get bids for dumpster service to the affected schools in District III. Wiese also got permission to accept a low bid of $15,887 from Curry’s Heating and Cooling to replace an 18-year-old heating and cooling system that services Berwick Junior High front hall.
In other action:
—Superintendent Donald Aguillard said 42 new teachers have been hired for the new school year and 10 teacher positions remain unfilled.
—Beverly Domengeaux of the St. Mary Council on Aging said the agency wishes to make modifications to the property it is allowed to use at 300 G Iberia St. in Franklin. The agency is unable to get grants for the modification without owning the property.
The board also:
—Allowed board attorney Eric Duplantis to seek special legal counsel, as needed, regarding the Patterson Junior High School construction.
—Approved a lease agreement for use of Cane Road property by Centerville High School agriculture department.
—Approved changes to the school guide newspaper and as well as the printing price given by The Daily Review.
—Approved allowing a $30 per diem to be paid in lieu of presenting meal receipts for out of town travel by school system employees.
—Approved the $200,000 purchase of Second Street property in Patterson contingent on an October election bond passage and clear title.
—Reviewed the superintendent’s cumulative performance evaluation in executive session.
—Received a District III Maintenance Committee report issued on June 18.