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Compensation package continued

Each spring the Teton County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees approves the employee compensation package for the coming school year. The 2020-21 plan includes two major changes: a change in how paid time off is accrued and a decrease in health care benefits, but the board continued discussion of the plan until its May 27 meeting to allow the Wyoming Legislature time to discuss school funding during its spring special session.

Employees used to accrue several types of time off, but now they will simply collect paid time off. A supervisor must now approve any leave, including sick days. Some staff members wrote to the board, asking for a longevity bonus.

The district’s health insurance costs increased by 9% this year, so to ensure employee premiums and district costs didn’t rise the district introduced some lower- cost, lower-benefit plans and reduced the amount it will contribute to employee pretax Health Savings Accounts.

School finance bill dies

A bill that would have allowed school districts to stash more money died in the Wyoming House of Representatives. HB1003 would have permitted school districts to increase their cash reserves in preparation for economic hardship.

Districts can save 15% of their foundation guarantee, their allotted money from the state. The bill would have bumped that number to 25%, and it would have given Gov. Mark Gordon leeway to transfer money between executive branch departments.

Teton County School District No. 1 Director of Resources Kristen Mayo told the district Board of Trustees the bill wouldn’t have helped the local district much. With 88% of the district’s budget in staff salaries and benefits, it would have been hard to come up with more money to squirrel away in cash reserves.

Building work continues

Even in the face of a pandemic and economic shortfall the school district has some major maintenance projects that must go on. Facilities Director Deanna Harger told the board at an April 29 workshop that her department had created a capital improvement plan to track and coordinate maintenance projects.

Several major systems in district schools are at the end of their life and are in need of replacement. At its May 13 meeting the board approved one such replacement, the roof at Colter Elementary School, which an executive summary from the facilities department said has started to leak the past several years.

Rodac, a company from Ogden, Utah, will replace the roof this summer. The approved bid is for just over $1.2 million, and the company stipulated in the proposal that the work would be done by Sept. 8, if it can get an early start.

— Tom Hallberg

This has been updated to show that the school board continued discussion of the compensation package, rather than approving it. — Ed.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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