Steamboat School Board to weigh salary, benefits package |

Steamboat School Board to weigh salary, benefits package

— The Steamboat Springs School Board tonight will consider approving a $1 million salary and benefits package for district employees. The board also could approve the district's 2012-13 operating budget and the 2013-14 academic calendar.

Board Pre­­­­sident Brian Kelly said Sunday that the salary package would offer step increases to eligible certified and classified district employees and bump up the salaries of about 100 employees to match the average pay being offered for their job classifications at nine comparable school districts. Kelly said the total cost of the step increases and raises totals $1 million and would be paid out during the next two years.

The district's Collaborative Bargaining Team typically negotiates a salary and benefits package for employees on a year-to-year basis. Staff voted, 172-28, this year to support the two-year plan.

Last year, the School Board approved a 2 percent base salary increase for all district employees that cost $272,523.

After they consider the salary package, board members will weigh the district's 2012-13 budget. Superintendent Brad Meeks said last week that the final version isn't expected to change significantly from the preliminary version the School Board discussed at a May 17 workshop. The proposed draft trims between 1 and 2 percent of the district's budget next school year in response to a slight cut in state funding, increased contributions to public pension funds and the rising cost of health insurance.

"It's a good budget," Kelly said. "But as things get tighter, (the process) gets more contentious."

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The draft avoids major cuts to Steamboat's athletic programs but significantly reduces the surplus budgets of the district's five campuses that sometimes are used to purchase items like textbooks and curriculum materials.

In other action tonight, the School Board will vote to adopt a calendar for the 2013-14 school year. According to survey results released by the school district, a majority of parents and community members who voted on the calendars favored a draft that is nearly identical to next year's calendar. Unlike the other two proposals up for consideration, the favored draft would not reduce Blues Break to a four-day weekend or start school before Labor Day. The calendars are available for review at

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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