School board eyes increase in salaries

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

The Tucumcari Public Schools Board of Education wrestled with how to give raises to school staff for the 2008-2009 school year during their regular meeting Monday night.

One school board member said that any raise should be a lump sum that was equal throughout the staff instead of a set percentage which would cause an uneven scale increase.

“It would be better to increase every one an even equal amount,” said Doug Powers. “Albert Mitchell had a good point: That a 10 percent increase to some was a considerable amount and to others it was not that much. It is important that the board appreciate the dedication and hard work done by the teachers and coaches.”

The board revisited the budget that was approved at the previous school board meeting. While the dollar amount was debated, the board members were also struggling with how the budget could be refinanced.

Board member Marty Garcia said the approved budget could be re-allocated and raises funded from deductions in certain salary categories. Other board members suggested that additional funding, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, was necessary for increases.
The board took action, but asked the administrative staff to look at other areas of the budget where cuts could be made to fund the salary increases.

Other items before the board were:
• New staff:
Russell P. Biniek, secondary technology teacher
Sharon Martensen, high school special education teacher
Dennis Roch, assistant superintendent
Sharon Homes, high school counselor
• Announcements of employee resignations:
Gabriela Walden, third grade elementary teacher, and
Maria Hasse, high school Spanish teacher.