August 2, 2008

Pay Hike Coming for Subs

By JOHN MARTIN, Courier & Press staff writer 464-7594 or [email protected]

Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. Superintendent Vincent Bertram is proposing increasing pay for substitute teachers during the coming school year.

EVSC's pay, $45 for a noncertified teacher and $50 for a certified teacher, often is criticized as too low and not competitive with other area schools.

Bertram wants the amount bumped to $65 for a noncertified teacher and $70 for a certified teacher.

"We've reached that decision because our substitute teachers have been woefully underpaid," Bertram said Friday.

The move will require School Board approval. It is to be presented to the board on Monday as an information item.

A vote is likely to occur at the Aug. 11 School Board meeting.

School Board member Chris Kiefer said he hears community comments about substitute teacher pay on a regular basis.

An increase "is warranted," Kiefer said. "Those people work very hard. And we're lower than a lot of school corporations."

School Board President Mike Duckworth said complaints about the school system's substitute teacher pay are justified.

The existing pay is in danger of falling below minimum wage, Duckworth said. "I know it's going to drive the budget up a little bit, but this is a fairness issue."

EVSC's budgets run on calendar years. The current budget has $1.9 million for substitute teachers.

If the School Board approves a higher rate, EVSC will have to use some of its general fund cash reserve until December, Bertram said.

EVSC will propose increasing its substitute teacher budget for 2009 to reflect the higher rate, Bertram said.

The School Board meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the EVSC Administration Building. Other agenda items include:

n An explanation of how the School Board evaluated Bertram's performance during his first year as superintendent, and a vote on performance pay. Bertram's base salary was $160,000 during his first year with EVSC.

n A presentation by Chief Financial Officer Margaret Conway about EVSC's 2009 budget proposal.

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