Cape Girardeau schools to give teachers a raise

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau School Board approved the 2011-2012 budget at Monday night's meeting.

Superintendent Jim Welker says there are two big things to take away from the budget approval.

District officials are giving the staff a raise, after last year's salary freeze and they're keeping the budget balanced, which he says can be very difficult.

"I think particularly in a current economy, it's sometimes tough to do," said Welker. "Particularly the same time we are giving staff a raise, and we're able to maintain with everything else."

Welker says the Cape Girardeau School District is in a rare situation.

"First off, we did grow this year, so with the increase in the number of students, that equated to an increase in our ADA which is used to calculate state aid and so that kind of helped offset some of the costs maybe other school districts had in terms of state funding," said Welker.

"The fellow teachers are excited that we're not frozen again, and that we're moving forward in going on with a pay increase," said 4th grade teacher Jena Maybry.

Maybry says many teachers struggled with last year's freeze.

"It was difficult, but I was thankful that I had a job, and went on with it, but with the increase this year, I'm excited and I know that talking with different teachers in my building that we were all excited that the board approved for us to have our next pay step with the increase in pay," said Maybry.

Welker says the increase in enrollment is more than 150 students.

He says the freeze and restructuring the district did last year, also helps in keeping the budget balanced this year.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.