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MLO Update - January 2019

January 25, 2019

 

Elizabeth School District Community,

As part of our commitment to keep you updated on how the 4A mill levy override (MLO) dollars are being allocated, I’d like to share our plans for the 2019-2020 school year, and beyond.

First of all, we are incredibly grateful to our community for supporting the district’s MLO ballot question in November. The MLO revenue is being used to address fundamental and enduring needs for our schools and students.

Teacher and Support Staff Compensation 
Most importantly, the MLO is helping us offer compensation that is more competitive with surrounding districts. The majority (86%) of the MLO revenue is being used to increase teacher and support staff compensation. Our starting teacher salary will increase by 16% to $34,000. The amount our teachers earn for each year of experience is expanding and the top pay range will increase from $52,000 to more than $65,000. Increases in teacher compensation vary by experience and education and will increase by 10%, at a minimum.

The compensation our support staff receives, which includes coaches, bus drivers, special education paraprofessionals, maintenance staff, food services staff, etc., will increase by a minimum of 7.5%, as promised. Pay rates for our most challenging positions will be much more competitive.  

The proposed salary schedules can be found here. The Elizabeth School District Board of Education will consider adopting the new salary schedules at the Monday, Jan. 28, board meeting.

Safety and Security
Elizabeth School District has an agreement with the Town of Elizabeth to hire a School Resource Officer (SRO) who will be employed by the Elizabeth Police Department. The SRO will be assigned to split their time between Elizabeth High School and Elizabeth Middle School. The school district will pay for nine months of compensation for the SRO. The SRO is expected to be hired and actively working to support EHS and EMS by August 1, 2019. For an overview of the SRO’s role, visit http://bit.ly/SROdetail.

For the remainder of the MLO proceeds earmarked for safety and security, we are currently exploring the addition of a districtwide staff member to help teachers and students with social-emotional and behavior support needs. We plan to have the details solidified within the next month.

Technology
Each year, approximately $71,000 of the MLO funding will go toward increasing student access to technology. The focus of 90% ($63,000) of those funds for the first two years will be to purchase laptop computers (Chromebooks) for students' use so that by the second year there will be a laptop for every student to use at any given time during the school day, at all schools, grades 4 through 12. The remaining 10% (about $7,100 per year) will be used for other technology needs such as software tools and subscriptions, classroom technology, as well as Career and Technical Education (CTE), computer science (CS) and STEM support.

Starting in 2021-2022 and beyond, we will move to a yearly lease model to refresh 25% of the entire Chromebook fleet every year. This move decreases our annual Chromebook expenditure and allows the district to broaden the scope of technology investments by allocating up to 70% of technology MLO funding (about $50,000) to support CTE, CS and STEM initiatives, and other technology-related tools such as virtual reality and robotics.  

Legacy Academy charter school
Based on student count, approximately 18% of the MLO revenue will be passed through to Legacy Academy, as required by law. Legacy Academy leadership is currently finalizing plans for their portion of the MLO. The charter school's use of MLO funds will closely mirror the district's use but may not be identical. 

MLO Oversight
The District Accountability Committee (DAC) met for the first time last week to learn more about their role in overseeing the MLO revenue allocation. The committee also became familiar with current plans for how the MLO funds will be used in the 2019-2020 school year. The committee is comprised of Elizabeth School District parents, community members and staff. You can find more information about DAC and their meetings here.

Thank you again for supporting Elizabeth School District students and staff! We will continue to provide updates on how the MLO proceeds are being used. 

Sincerely,
Douglas Bissonette
Superintendent