Despite an entire legislative session that appeared primed for significant cuts to education funding, Teton County teachers’ paychecks will look relatively the same next year.
Teton County School District No. 1 is not making any massive changes to the employee compensation plan for the 2021-22 school year, in part because the Wyoming Legislature declined to make any substantive changes to education funding. The district at one point was looking at more than $3 million of estimated cuts, but with the can kicked down the road, it doesn’t yet have to change its approach to paying teachers.
“If a bill does pass that impacts the funding of TCSD #1, adjustments may be necessary to this draft,” reads the summary of changes to the plan.
Some small changes were made to the regional cost of living adjustment, which was bumped from 157% to 159%, a nominal increase in salary for staff. Pay was increased for substitutes in classified positions — food service, paraprofessionals, etc. — to $16 an hour.
The biggest change comes in employee health insurance plans. Last year, the district had three tiers. The highest required employees to pay a premium, the middle was paid for by the district, and the lowest was a high-deductible plan that included a district contribution to a pretax health savings account.
For the 2021-22 school year employees will have two options: a traditional plan with a lower deductible that the district will pay for, or a high-deductible plan that includes a contribution to a health savings account. Fully covering the more expensive plan will cost the district about $1 million more, but the state is offering a match that would cover about $855,000, Executive Director of Resources Kristen Mayo told the board at its April meeting.
That match is sent back to the state if it’s not used. The district would have saved money by opting for the less expensive suite of insurance plans it had; however, it would have lost out on the matching funds.
The board of trustees unanimously approved the compensation plan.