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Danville school employees getting 1-percent pay raise

All certified and classified staff in the Danville Independent Schools will receive a 1-percent pay raise starting July 1.

The Danville Board of Education voted Thursday in a special called meeting to give the across-the-board raises, which will have a total cost of about $115,000 annually.

Board Chair Paige Matthews said the board had looked at doing it a few different ways, such as giving a 1-percent raise or providing a one-time bonus.

District Finance Officer Paul Dean said he had researched the options of a one-time bonus or a gift card, which had been mentioned to him by the board. He spoke with the district auditor and another finance officer in another district about the two ideas.

“(The gift card is) definitely out, just because when you do a gift card like that, even though it’s a bonus, we still have to hold taxes, retirement and everything like that on it … That’s a no-go,” Dean said.

Regarding the one-time bonus, Dean said the auditor “expressed a little reluctance on that,” but the finance officer said it would be possible. However, figuring out the timing of when to give the bonus would be difficult.

The board asked him if the funding would be available from the current year’s carry-over. He said that would be an option.

Dean said the district had given out 1-percent raises for the last few years; a 2-percent raise was given the last time the state mandated the raise.

“It was a (2-percent raise) and then we actually added 1 (percent),” said Board member Steve Becker.

That was three years ago, Dean said.

The last time a raise was state-mandated, he said, there was SEEK funding to cover the raises.

“They thought that would necessitate a mandatory raise. It doesn’t always work out that the amount that they give you is going to cover what it will cost you,” Dean said.

The board eventually said they felt the raise was doable and important.

“I would love to honor our staff and do that,” Finke said.

The board also had an executive session to discuss pending litigation and an evaluation of Superintendent Keith Look. Before the meeting, Matthews said, despite Look’s contract ending on June 30, the board had until Aug. 1 to complete the required yearly evaluation.