Proposition I – Increasing pay for staff
Proposition I is a 50 cent operating levy increase for the purpose of attracting and retaining quality staff through salary increases.
This fall, the Harrisonville district asked for input from parents, staff, the community and students through the Blueprint survey. Nearly 1,300 people provided their feedback. Respondents indicated that the #1 challenge/issue facing the district was “Hiring and retaining quality educators in an increasingly competitive market” and the #1 financial priority was “Keeping salaries and benefits competitive in order to attract and retain quality staff.”
Per the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the average Harrisonville teacher salary is $44,479 while the Missouri average is $50,019. The starting pay for a teacher in Harrisonville is lower than surrounding school districts including Cass Midway, Pleasant Hill, Belton & Ray-Pec.
The revenue designated for salaries comes from local funds (54%) and state funds (34%). State funds are based on enrollment and enrollment is declining – the district has lost 265 students over the last six years and thus state funding for the district has decreased.
Local funding comes through taxes on the assessed valuation of property. For the last 10 years, the district’s assessed valuation has remained relatively stagnant which means that local funds have done the same. The district did see an increase in assessed valuation last year; however, the district is not allowed to collect all of that 9% increase. Due to restrictions mandated by the Missouri Constitution (Hancock Amendment), the district is only allowed to increase revenue in the general operating fund from assessment by the consumer price index, which was 1.9% last year. Click here to read more.
Staff salaries and benefits make up the majority (68%) of our district’s expenditures. Last year, the district cut eight staff positions reducing $498,978.62 in staff salaries/benefits. The district also moved from in-house food service and maintenance/custodial to contracted services to decrease expenditures. In addition, the middle school moved away from the middle school concept to a junior high schedule which requires fewer teachers. This year the district has already eliminated 2.5 positions.
Passage of Proposition I requires a simple majority.
For additional information, go to www.harrisonvilleschools.org/PropsIN